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St George's Hospital, London
Coram in the care of the Foundling Museum
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
St George's Hospital, London
Dated on tablet: 1746
Oil on canvas
56 x 55 cm diameter
22 x 21 5/8 in. diameter
BN 85
St George's Hospital is seen from the north-west, looking from Hyde Park across Knightsbridge
Manchester 1857 (Modern Masters, 164); London 1925 (12); Old London, 25 Park Lane 1938 (28); Munich 1958 (223); Kenwood 1967 (28); London, Tate Gallery & The Hague, Mauritshuis 1971, Shock of Recognition: The Landscape of English Romanticism and the Dutch seventeenth-century School (49); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (8); London Tate Gallery, Manners and Morals 1988 (169)
Presented to the Foundling Hospital by the artist in 1746, when he was elected Governor; first recorded there 1751.
Unsigned; no inscription
[1] Left upright stretcher white chalk: Foundling Hosp. [part covered by label]
[2] Lower horizontal stretcher white chalk: [illegible]
[1] Upper stretcher horizontal printed and manuscript: St George's | Hospital [+ illegible]
[2] Upper stretcher horizontal printed and typescript: The Tate Gallery | Thomas Coram Foundation | Richard Wilson | St. George's Hospital | 1746-50 | Manners and Morals: Hogarth | and British Painting, 1700-1760 | Oct - 3 Jan 1988 [?]
[2] Left stretcher vertical printed and typescript: The Tate Gallery | Thomas Coram Foundation for Children | Richard Wilson | St George's Hospital | Richard Wilson |
[3] Lower stretcher horizontal printed and manuscript: EXHIBITION | ART TREASURES | 1857 | Richard Wilson
[4] Lower stretcher horizontal printed and typescript: The British Council | FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT | Richard Wilson | St George's Hospital | Thomas Coram Foundation for Children | The Age of Reason, Munich 1958
St George's Hospital was designed in 1733 by Isaac Ware and established in Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner. As with the Foundling Hospital (depicted in P18) the location was felt to be ideal in respect of public health as it was then on the edge of London, next to open countryside. It was rebuilt by William Wilkins 1828-1832.
Pendant P18 The Foundling Hospital, The Foundling Museum, London
PLEASE NOTE: ENTRY IN COURSE OF REVISION. P18 and P19 are two of eight round views of London hospitals and educational institutions displayed in the General Court Room of the Foundling Museum. All are the same size and date from 1746 to 1748. The others are by Gainsborough (The Charterhouse); Samuel Wale (Christ's Hospital, St Thomas's Hospital, Greenwich Hospital): and Edward Haytley (Bethlem Hospital and Chelsea Hospital). The are framed in roundels of gilt oak leaves and acorns, embellished by painted foliage and garlands and surmounted by grotesque heads carved by William Hallett (c.1707-1781).
FM 66
Booth Notes Doc. 5, p. 3; Brownlow 1847, pp. 57-59; Whitley 1700-1799, vol. 1, p. 163; R.H. Nichols & F.A. Wray, The History of the Foundling Hospital, 1935, pp. 251, 261-62, repr. opp. p. 270; Ford 1951, p. 16; Waterhouse 1953, p. 174; WGC, pp. 76, 180, pl. 43b; B. Nicolson & J.F. Kerslake, The Treasures of the Foundling Hospital, 1972, pp. 81-82. no. 85, pl. 55; J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, 1979, p. 271. fig. 292; E.K. Waterhouse British 18th Century Painters in Oils and Crayons, Woodbridge 1981, Solkin 1982, pp. 149-150
The Court Room of the Foundling Hospital was one of the first public spaces for the display of British art, presenting a major opportunity to impress wealthy patrons. Wilson intended P18 and P19 to be advertisements for his skills as an estate painter and classical artist.
Dimensions framed: 65.8 x 65 x 6.2 cm including tablet. The foreground has a large pentimento, visible in X-ray. The original carved gilded and gessoed frame was probably the work of William Hallett, paid £11.4s. 'For 8 carved oval frames for pictures' on November 15th 1746 (Ms Book of Furniture, Foundling Museum Archive, LMA Research 007).