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Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 11
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 11
1752
Black chalk on white paper
188 x 130 mm (volume: 203 x 143 mm)
8 x 5 5/8 in.
E.3586-1922
D53/11
Oblique view of an Italian house with tall chimney, impressive portico and, to the right, an attached archway giving onto a street or yard and casting a strong shadow. Two resting figures are silhouetted against the opening, one sitting and the other standing, bearing a staff or rod on his shoulder. On the left two figures with staffs perhaps pilgrims, are walking across a bridge over a river towards an elevated cross. Another figure, probably a fisherman, appears below the bridge. In the far distance a mountain is visible.
Bt about 1922 from Miss Alice J. Bowles
Numbered below the image lower right: 10
Page numbered upper right corner: 11
E60/12 Studies & Designs: Oblique View of an Italian House with tall Chimney, attached Archway, Travellers and Fisherman, The British Museum
E60/12A Studies & Designs: Oblique View of an Italian House with tall Chimney, attached Archway, Travellers and Fisherman, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Wilson's commitment to landscape made soon after his arrival in Rome in late 1751 initiated a sustained burst of activity as a draughtsman which was to gain momentum over the next few years. One major piece of evidence for the seriousness with which he took his new career is provided by the pages of this surviving sketchbook from 1752. Although it contains a number of rapid sketches from nature and the antique, most of its leaves are filled with imaginary essays in landscape design, usually incorporating classical themes such as antique ruins but presented in a rococo manner, and, as noted by Solkin, 'using lazy curving forms and often capricious combinations of architectural motifs in a way that still recalls the works of Zuccarelli.' Increasingly, however, Wilson came to adopt a more naturalistic style.
Sutton & Clements 1968, pp. 15-17, fig. 19; Solkin 1982, pp. 152, 157
Only two sketchbooks by Wilson have survived - the present one (D53-D53/81) and D280-D280/33 Italian Sketchbook - Drawings, 1754, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Old tear below centre of image
29/09/2017