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View near the Loggerheads, Denbighshire (A Welsh Valley with a Quarry) (Hills and a Quarry)
Tate, London 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
View near the Loggerheads, Denbighshire (A Welsh Valley with a Quarry) (Hills and a Quarry)
c.1765-70 (undated)
Oil on canvas
41.9 x 52.1 cm
16 1/2 x 20 1/2 in.
N02989
P155
The view is taken from a point close to Colomendy Hall, near Llanferres, Denbighshire where Wilson's cousin, Catherine Jones, lived and where he stayed regularly, dying there in 1782. The prospect is north-west towards the River Alun, which runs beneath some distinctive cliffs. In the 18th century these were known as Pen y Carreg Wen (Head of the White Rock).
London 1925 (8 - Landscape with Quarry); Manchester 1925 (38 - Landscape with Quarry); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (122)
The artist until 1782; Catherine Jones [...] bequeathed by Richard and Catherine Garnons to the National Gallery 1854; transferred to the Tate Gallery
Unsigned; no inscription
Linen canvas, relined; 14 threads per cm. White, uniform, general ground. Anne Baxter has noted: A size layer was found between two layers of pigmented priming - also found on all the paintings examined from the 1760s and 1770s. The sky pigment is Prussian blue. It has a complete underpainting of bright yellow pigment, visible between the branches of the left hand tree.
[1] Bourlet label on vertical crossmember of stretcher: B18387
This unfinished Welsh landscape is unusual for Wilson in showing a place with family associations. It is also one of many instances where he applies the lessons learned in the Roman Campagna, filled with ancient ruins, to the scenery of his native country.
D363 A Welsh Valley, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
As with most of Wilson's other pictures, an intellectual process of idealisation prevents an overt emotional response. The incomplete state of the picture makes it difficult to determine its precise date but it is probably contemporary with other Welsh views of the mid-1760s.
WGC, p. 178, pl. 40b (as Hills and a Quarry); Solkin 1982, pp. 229-30
Out of sight, in a dip in the middle ground, lies the Loggerheads Inn, whose sign is traditionally held to have been painted by Wilson.
Visual examination and sampling by Ann Baxter 1982. Dimensions with frame: 63.5 x 71 cm. Kate Lowry has noted:
The sky appears finished, with calm flat clouds. Pink at horizon where dragged down to the outline of hills. However the foreground is unfinished and sketchy with the warm mushroom coloured priming visible throughout. Some detail in right hand rocks of middle ground. Some reserve left for tree branches at left against the sky and for tree trunks against the landscape. Standing figure in the foreground has pentiment to head.