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Ionic Capitals
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Ionic Capitals
c.1752 (undated)
Black chalk heightened with white on grey paper
134 x 191 mm
5 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.
Private Collection, England
London 1925 (88B); Exeter 1946 (24); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (26); Tercentenary 2014 (19)
William Lock of Norbury; his sale, Sotheby's, 3 May 1821; Richard Ford; by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
These Ionic capitals were in the Farnese Gardens on the Palatine Hill in Rome. The motif is incorporated into the foreground of P64 Rome and the Ponte Molle, 1754, National Museum Wales, P66 Landscape Capriccio on the Via Aemilia, Private Collection, New York and P133 Moor Park Hertfordshire, Private Collection, England, as well as the drawing D302 Ponte Molle, Monte Mario, Huntington Library and Gallery, San Marino, California. The capitals were also drawn by Wilson's pupils, Johan Mandelberg and Johannes Wiedwelt c.1755-56 and were later engraved by Piranesi.
P64 Rome from the Ponte Molle, National Museum Wales
P66 Landscape Capriccio on the Via Aemilia, Private Collection, New York
P133 Moor Park Hertfordshire, Private Collection, Enlgand
Johan Mandelberg (1730-1786), Ionic Capitals, c.1755-56. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
Wilson made several drawings of still-life themes as studies in the play of light and shadow. These exercises allowed him to develop his skills in realistic representation as he began to paint topographical views instead of rococo landscape designs. This drawing is a reworked version of one which formerly formed part of An Italian Sketchbook, Victoria & Albert Museum. At some point, probably in the 19th century, that original study was removed and is now known only through a copy made by Jane Bowles, daughter of Oldfield Bowles. Her copy of the entire sketchbook, formerly in the possession of Sir George Beaumont, is now at Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.
Ford 1948, fig. 8; Ford 1951, p. 53, pl. 15; Solkin 1982, pp. 159-60; Nielsen 1979, p. 440, pl. 73; Solkin 1982, pp. 159-60; Walpole Society 1998-I, p. 71, RF 80; Wilson and Europe 2014, pp. 218-19