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Head of an old Man
Private Collection
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Head of an old Man
c.1752 (undated)
Oil on canvas
[49 x 38 cm]
[19 1/8 x 15 in.]
Location Unknown
P38
BI 1853 (148); London, J.A. Tooth Galleries 1951 (5, lent D.J. Lacey)
Painted in Rome before 14 November 1752; given by Wilson to Ralph Howard (Viscount Wicklow from 1785) together with seven other paintings ordered by him and described by the artist as 'a head to match the Capuchin' (see P39 Head of a Capuchin Monk, Leicester Museum & Art Gallery); Earls of Wicklow; perhaps 'A Head of St Jerome - Wilson', in an undated inventory (pre-1820), though this may refer to P39; sold with the content of Shelton Abbey, Arklow, Ireland Sotheby's London, 23 October 1950 (1595 as by Denner); bt Father D.J. Lucey; Sotheby's 1 December 1954 (146), bt Leger; bt by the Welsh Steel Company, later subsumed by British Steel
P39 Head of a Capuchin, Leicester Museum & Art Gallery
One of two heads (see also P39) painted vaguely in the manner of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1683-1754), who became Director of the Venetian Academy in 1750, the year of Wilson's arrival in Venice. Prints after his head studies, rich in chiaroscuro, were eagerly acquired by collectors from England.
Ford May 1951, pp. 165-66, fig. 28; WGC, p.156, pl. 10b; Solkin 1982 under cat. 64; Clark & Bowron, p. 255 under cat. 165; Wilson and Europe 2014 (fig. 52)