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Farm with a Pond (The Village Pond)
National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Farm with a Pond (The Village Pond)
1776 or later
Oil on copper
17.8 x 21.6 cm
7 x 8 1/2 in.
London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (144)
With Arthur Tooth, London; 1938, Sir Hugh Walpole; Christie's 10 January 1947 (164), bt Tooth; Mrs F.L. Evans; Christie's 23 June 1972 (62), bt Leggatt; bt Ulster Museum
Painted on the verso of the copper plate used by Michael 'Angelo' Rooker for his original trial etching of Wilson's The Villa of Maecenas at Tivoli, which was published by Boydell in 1776.
W.G. Constable noted that a landscape with a cascade and a tower and bridge in the distance, catalogued as Wilson and also on copper (7 x 9 1/4 in.) was in the Benjamin West sale, Christie's, 23 June 1820 (5).
The authorship of this painting has been the subject of doubt, largely in terms of its quality, small size and unusual support. However, in his last years, the indigent artist had little control over these. In the present case he re-used the back of a copper-plate etched by Michael 'Angelo' Rooker on the other side for E43 and other impressions after Wilson's The Villa of Maecenas at Tivoli (P137 and other versions). Solkin has remarked that so commonplace a scene provides a poignant reminder of Wilson's precipitous descent from the heights of his earlier Grand Style.
WGC, p. 177, pl. 38c; Solkin 1982, pp. 248-49