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Ford 1952
Ford 1952
Brinsley Ford
'Richard Wilson in Rome: II - The Claudean Landscapes'
The Burlington Magazine
London, UK
November 1952
Secondary published
Vol. 94, no. 596, pp. 307-13. Ford assesses six landscapes painted while Wilson was in Rome from 1753 onwards: P49 Lake, Villa and Pine Trees: 'A Summer Evening'; P56 Rome from the Villa Madama; P57 Rome: St Peter's and the Vatican from the Janiculum; P63 Diana and Actaeon; P64 Rome from the Ponte Molle; P69 Ego fui in Arcadia. He concludes that on their evidence 'from 1753 onwards Wilson developed in Rome a characteristic style which was based on Claudean principles of composition.'
[Continuing his concluding paragraph:] 'It is paradoxical that the very few landscapes which can be attested by signature and date to have been painted in Italy should be [in the words of E.K. Waterhouse] "much lower in tone, and have far less of the Mediterranean sunshine about them than the later versions painted in England." If Wilson's work in Italy is to be judged solely by this group of Roman paintings then the charge that at this period he was little more than an imitator of Claude could hardly be refuted. But it was during these very years that Wilson was most active with his pencil. Countless drawings prove how closely he studied nature and how independent his vision could be when he had nobody but himself to please. It is to this aspect of his work, as much as to his emulation of the great French masters, that we must turn if we are to appreciate the foundations upon which he built his future achievement.'
31/07/2019