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River View ('On the Severn')
Private Collection / Photograph by Studio Edmark Photography
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782) and later intervention
River View ('On the Severn')
71.3 x 91.5 cm
28 3/4 x 36 in.
Private Collection
P161
A rver winds through the centre of the composition with trees and bushes on the right and flat open country beyond. There is a group of figures is in the foreground, including a mother and baby, a seated child and a fisherman. More figures are visible in the boats in the centre distance on the promontory to the left and the path further left.
Birmingham City Art Gallery, Treasures from Midland Houses, 1938 (97); Birmingham 1948 (61); London 1949 (61)
Bt by James West, P.R.S. (1704?-1772), or his grandson; by descent
The colour of the sky below the willow trees is original
WGC, p. 183, pl. 50a
Early 19th century frame. Much overpainted in the left and right foreground. This general retouching probably followed the repair of tears at the centre. The level of the water at the right is now ambiguous, disguising the emergence of the now overpainted tree-trunk.
Kate Lowry has noted: Simple weave canvas. Glue relined. Four member pine stretcher with square mortice joints and provision for keying out. Not original, but unusually for a liner's stretcher, it is quite roughly finished. Pale grey ground. Pale pink underpaint underlies the landscape and is visible around the seated boy fishing in the foreground and in distant hills centre right. In normal light it is clear that the painting has undergone extensive retouching in the sky and foreground areas. Under UV light the retouches to the lower left and centre foreground are seen to overlie the heavy varnish coating, whilst the general retouching of the sky underlies the present varnish. The retouching over the water consists of brown glazes which obscure the lower half of the broken tree trunk at lower right making it appear to emerge from the water, although this probably wasn't the artist's original intention. Retouching has also been carried out in the distant landscape at the centre of the painting to cover a right-angle tear to the original canvas which was repaired by the relining treatment. The lining treatment has flattened the paint and caused a loss of attachment between the paint and ground layers. This has led to the development of raised crackelure and some flaking of paint from ground at lower left and in the foreground to right of centre.