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Kew Gardens, Surrey, Ruined Arch
Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Kew Gardens, Surrey, Ruined Arch
Undated
Oil on canvas
48.2 x 73.5 cm
19 x 28 15/16 in.
00309
P108A
A road, between banks covered with trees and bushes, leads through a ruined archway in the Roman style. Beyond to the left are cypresses and a cedar. An artist can be seen drawing lower left
Bath, Victoria Art Gallery, Masterpieces from West Country Art Galleries, 20 May - 1 July 1989; Gloucester 2014 (unnumbered); Croome 2019
Col. M.H. Grant; Stanley Marling, Amberley, Gloucester, 1932; bequeathed to Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery 1963
Unsigned; no inscription
Coarsely painted, with overpaint in the sky top left and 'islands' of plants lower right
Kew Gardens lie on the opposite side of the Thames from Syon House. Kew Park was enlarged and embellished by Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales from 1759, when the arch was built 'to make a passage for carriages and cattle, over one of the principal walks of the garden' [and] 'to imitate antiquity'. (W. Chambers, 'A Description of the Palace and Gardens at Kew, the seat of the Princess Dowager of Wales', Royal Magazine, September 1763, p. 154).
D357A A Ruin, Arch at Kew Gardens, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
D357/1 The Ruined Arch in Kew Gardens (recto), Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
D357/2 Sketch of an Urn (verso), Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
E72/17 Thomas Hastings after Wilson,Villa Borghese, The British Museum (1854,0708.74) and other impressions
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Differs from P108 (Private Collection, England) mainly in foliage detail.
WGC, 1953, p. 179, under pl. 41a
Conserved recently by the Area Museum Service. Rococo style frame with nasty gold paint. Kate Lowry has noted:
Appears to have been recently cleaned. The sun-modelled building and cloud highlights in sky, together with the two little figures on the walkway and one in left foreground are good Wilson features. Dark areas in the foreground, seen in normal light, appear to be much retouched and there are blanched striated retouches in the upper left sky. Under UV light retouches are visible overlying varnish in the sky and along cracks in the foreground. A rather worn and restored version of this composition.