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Wilton House from the East (Wilton House East View)
Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Wilts. / The Bridgeman Art Library
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782) and Studio
Wilton House from the East (Wilton House East View)
c.1758-60 (undated)
Oil on canvas
98.9 x 144.7 cm
38 15/16 x 57 in.
88
P78
Wilton House is seen at the end of a canal with an overflow weir in the right foreground, beside which there is a man seated, reading, or more likely drawing. Other figures are walking along the banks in the distance. On the left, lined by trees, is the old approach road, on which are carriages. In the centre of the façade is the so-called Holbein Tower, predating Wyatt's alterations begun in 1801.
BI 1814 (172/176, 194/198 or 196/200, as View at Wilton/View of Wilton House); Birmingham 1948-49 (50); London 1949 (49)
Painted for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke; thence by descent
Signed on the end of the tree trunk, centre foreground: RW [monogram, the R reversed]
One of a set of five views of Wilton, painted for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke
The composition is indecisively organised and the trees ungainly for Wilson himself. The figure and the horse in the left foreground are atypical in angle and facture. The presence of figures on many different scales makes this seem an earlier work than the date of the commission.
Catalogue 1814, p. 21; N.R. Wilkinson, Wilton House Pictures, 1907, vol. 2, p. 363, cat. 171 as School of Wilson and perhaps by George Barret; Waterhouse 1953, p. 177; WGC, pp. 87-88 and 189, pl. 60b; S. Pembroke, A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Collection at Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1968, p. 36, cat. 88; J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, London 1979, p .276, pl. 298b
Cleaned in 1932 and in 1967. Conserved by Simon Foulkes and relined 2006 by Richard Watkiss. The frame is unique among the set of Wilton views. Kate Lowry has noted:
Pale grey ground, but with brown underglaze in foreground and in the reserve left for foliage. Foliage is rather more contrasty and the reserve tone a brighter brown than is usual for Wilson. The building is very neatly painted and the figures at the left of a man leading another on horseback are unusually competent.