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Harbour Scene
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Harbour Scene
Dated lower right: 1753
Black chalk and stump with white heightening on grey laid paper; some heightening of figures in black ink
210 x 177 mm
8 3/16 x 6 15/16 in.
NMW A 5763
Two figures are seen on a jetty, with bundles nearby. A boat approaches them from the left. In the middle distance on the left is a large classical building with a round tower.
London 1925 (97 - Classical Landscape); Birmingham 1948-49 (69); London 1949 (68); Kenwood 1974 (150); London, Cardiff and New Haven 1982-83 (29)
James Pyke Thompson; Clothier Sale, Penarth; given to the Museum by Barry Eisteddfod Fund, 30 June 1921
Signed lower left in ink: R.W.f.
[1] Lower left pencil: illegible marks
An idyllic, atmospheric study of a port in the evening, concentrating on the sunset effect, this was probably drawn in Venice (though by 1753 Wilson was based in Rome).. David Solkin noted the comparison of the simple design with the calm seaports of Claude-Joseph Vernet, who lived in Rome from 1734 to 1753, was particularly popular with British patrons and encouraged Wilson to concentrate on landscape rather than portraiture.
Ford 1951, pp. 25 & 58, pl. 47; Cardiff 1961, pp. 16-17; Solkin 1982, pp. 160-61; L. Meyer, Les Paysages Anglais, Paris, 1992