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The Banks of the River Dee near Eaton Hall, Cheshire
The Art Institute of Chicago, The Leonora Gurley Memorial
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Banks of the River Dee near Eaton Hall, Cheshire
c.1759-60 (undated)
Black chalk with white highlighting on grey-blue laid paper, faded to brown, laid down on card
187 x 304 mm
7 3/8 x 12 in.
1922.1675
D354
Two lovers recline in the lower right foreground. To the left a boat contains two figures, one of whom leans out towards a swimmer. Three large horned cattle graze on the left bank of the river. In the distant centre ground a half-timbered house with a single tall chimney is visible and on the bank in front of it is a tiny figure. The river is full of sensitive reflections.
London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (84)
Paul Sandby; William Esdaile; Sir Thomas Lawrence (?); Leonora Gurley; acquired by the Art Institute, 1922
Unsigned; inscribed on the hedge in front of the cattle: red [or hedge]
This seems to be the latest of Wilson's known chalk drawings on grey paper, the medium he had adopted while in Italy. After this he tended to use chalks on buff paper or pencil. His use of white chalk is here reserved almost exclusively to represent the clouds and their reflections in the river.
[1] Recto lower left corner: Paul Sandby (Lugt 2112)
[2] Recto lower left corner: William Esdaile (Lugt 2617)
[3] Recto lower left corner: Sir Thomas Lawrence (Lugt 2445) (?)
[3] Recto lower left corner: Leonora Gurley
[1] Upper centre, pencil old hand: No. 4
[2] Upper centre, pencil: a dirammatic wing and 1223
[3] Centre, stamped: LEONORA HALL GURLEY / MEMORIAL COLLECTION
[4] Lower left, black ink: 22.1675
[5] Lower right in pencil by Paul Sandby: 'Banks of the River Dee in Cheshire / I once had the picture of this / P.S. / sold it to Sr S. Clarke / it was painted for a friend of Wilsons one Hughes an oil m .../ ...[from] whom I bought it'
[6] Lower left, black ink: Paul Sandby's colln 1811. WE. P116 N 951 Banks of the Dee. Cheshire. / Wilson
[1] Recto lower left, pencil: Exhib 1924 "Very nice - Richard Wilson," A.M.H
[2] Recto lower centre, black ink: Wilson / View on the Banks of the Dee
[3] Recto lower centre, pencil: fine provenance: Paul Sandby / William Esdaile / ? Thos Lawrence
Eaton Hall was the country seat of the first Earl Grosvenor
E25 Thomas Morris after Wilson, The Banks of the River Dee near Eaton, Cheshire (Landscape with River, three Figures in a Rowing Boat), The British Museum
E25A Thomas Morris after Wilson, The Banks of the River Dee near Eaton, Cheshire, Royal Academy of Arts, London
E71/1 John Young after Wilson, View on the River Dee, near Eaton Hall, The British Museum
P86 The River Dee near Eaton Hall, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham
P86A The River Dee near Eaton Hall, Petworth House, National Trust
P86B The River Dee near Eaton Hall, The Courtauld Gallery, London
P86C The River Dee near Eaton Hall (View of the River Dee, near Eaton Hall, Cheshire), Tyntesfield, National Trust
P86D Ascribed to Wilson, The River Dee near Eaton Hall, Private Collection, North America
NWP86E Ascribed to Wilson, The River Dee near Eaton Hall, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
P86H The River Dee near Eaton Hall, Private Collection, England
David Solkin has noted that the painting mentioned by Paul Sandby (Verso inscriptions [5]) is unknown and that this drawing does not correspond to any of the extant versions. Thus while the drawing may record a lost work, it seems more likely to be a finished model intended for a patron's approval or comment.
Solkin 1978, p. 407, pl. 24b; Solkin 1982, pp. 198-99
Good condition overall. Some minor single spots upper left and lower right.