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Tabley House, Cheshire
Private Collection, c/o Robert Holden Ltd.
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Tabley House, Cheshire
c.1764-66 (undated)
Oil on canvas
100.3 x 125.7 cm
39 1/2 x 49 1/2 in.
Private Collection, England
P126
Tabley House is shown in the distance of a broad panorama. Across the foreground stretches a lake, calm in the declining light, with an indolent young couple on the near bank. The man is angling and the girl is suckling a baby. To the left of them, the water is infused with light reflected from the break in the clouds above.
RA 1780 (152); London 1934 (227); Amsterdam 1936 (180); Paris 1938 (152); Birmingham 1948-49 (1); London 1949 (1); London 1951-52 (81); Manchester 1957 (192); London 1973-74 (40); Munich 1979-80 (63); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (124); Tercentenary 2014 (139)
Commissioned by Sir Peter Leicester (1732-1770) - Wilson's bill for £33 paid at his death; his son, Sir John Fleming Leicester, Baronet, created Lord de Tabley, 1826; sold Christie's 7 July 1827 (42), bt Peacock (193 guineas); Sir James Linton; Williamson; Agnews; bt Thomas Ashton, 1890; 1934, Lord Ashton of Hyde, Vinehall; thence by descent
PLEASE NOTE: SECTION IN COURSE OF RE-EDITING
Stretcher:
[1] Crossing of vertical and horizontal members, printed and ms.: HAMISH DEWAR | ASHTON 6361 F [in circle]
[2]
Frame:
[1] Upper right vertical member: The British Council
[2] Lower horizontal member, left: Royal Academy 1951-52 [3] Lower horizontal member, centre, old typescript label: 'This picture of Tabley House, Cheshire, by Richard Wiilson, R.A. | is mentioned in a catalogue of pictures owned by Sir John Leicester| Bart. 1825. He was the owner of Tabley House.'
Sir Peter Leicester remodelled Tabley House following the designs of John Carr of York. From 1762-69, it was reconstructed and the grounds 'improved' in the style of Capability Brown.
E71/2 John Young after Wilson, View of Tabley House in Cheshire, 1821, The British Museum (1859,1210.356)
David Solkin has commented that this painting is close in design and handling to P131 On Hounslow Heath, Tate, London. Both works owe much to the panoramic vistas of 17th century Dutch art. Nevertheless Wilson's approach was daringly original in comparison with the prevailing conventions of estate portraiture. The subordination of the house, then under construction, to its surrounding landscape has often been commented upon as an example of his innovations. When exhibited at the R.A. in 1780, it was described by a reviewer styling himself 'An Artist' as 'an old picture and painted in his prime'.
'An Artist', Candid Review of the Exhibition (being the twelfth) of the Royal Academy, MDCLXXX, London, 1780, p. 24; W. Carey, A Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Paintings by British Artists in the Possession of Sir John Fleming Leicester, Bart., 1819, no. 59; J. Young, A Catalogue of Pictures by British Artists in the Possession of Sir John Fleming Leicester, Bart, with etchings from the whole collection, 1821, p. 15, no. 32; Wright 1824, p. 271; C. Hussey, 'Tabley House Cheshire - I & II' Country Life, vol. 54, July 21, 1923, pp. 84-90 & July 28, 1923, pp. 114-120; Whitley 1700-1799, vol. 1, p. 383; Commemorative Catalogue 1934 (108, pl. XLI); Bury 1947, pl. 36; WGC, pp. 74, 95, 186-87, pl. 56a; D. Hall, 'Tabley House Papers: Catalogue of Pictures belonging to Sir John Leicester (Lord de Tabley)', Walpole Society vol. 28, 1962, p. 122, no. 113; Parris 1973, pp. 32-34; J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, London 1979, p. 274, pl. 296; Solkin 1982, p. 231; Courtauld List 1989, no.166; Wilson and Europe 2014, p. 313
In 1821 Young recorded P126 as hanging in the 'Anti Room' of Sir John Fleming Leicester's London house.
13/02/2019