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Evening: River Scene with Castle (River and Castle: Evening)
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Evening: River Scene with Castle (River and Castle: Evening)
Early 1770s (undated)
Oil on canvas
62.2 x 48.8 cm
24 1/2 x 19 1/4 in.
1-1876
P177B
Wynne Ellis, sold 6 May 1876 (134 River Scene with a castle and boats, 25 x 16 in.), bt Whitehead; 1876 Victoria & Albert Museum
Elements of Wilson's native Welsh landscape, complete with imaginary castle, river mouth and trow (cargo boat), are mingled in a pleasant fantasy or capriccio. There was a ready market for idealised Italianate landscapes which evoked not only memories of the glorious and fertile countryside, but also the sweet melancholy of the classical ruins, half sunk into the earth.
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This is a fragment of a larger canvas, seemingly cut in two during the 19th century. The other piece is P177C Pastoral Scene with Musicians by a classical Ruin , Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford . If the two works were to be reunited, with the present work on the right, they would form a less than complete version of P177 River Mouth with Peasants dancing , Neue Pinakothek, Munich. Solkin noted that the missing areas include a narrow vertical strip between the two fragments and at least 2 1/2 in. of sky in the present work. Confusingly, another version of the entire composition is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (P177A).
246-76
E. M.Dickey, A Picture-Book of British Art, 1931; WGC, p. 231, pl. 128a; Solkin 1982, pp. 243-45.
Kate Lowry has noted: Glue relined. Original plain weave canvas is 640 x 490mm in size and has been cut down on all edges, though it is not known by how much. The line of vertical cracking running down 9mm from left edge displays a series of small, filled losses and therefore appears to be a fold line rather than a stretcher bar crack. Strips of canvas from another painting have been added at left and right hand sides. The ground is recorded as dark in tone (colour not stated). Paint is thickly and quite broadly applied for a work of this size which might indicate it was once much larger. Raking light photo shows strong horizontal texture of canvas or paint. Varnish sponged and reduced by friction in 1894. Discoloured varnish removed in 2001 and revarnished for display.