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River Scene with Bathers, Cattle and Ruin
Tate, London 2014
Studio of Wilson
River Scene with Bathers, Cattle and Ruin
c.1770-75 (undated)
Oil on canvas
64.5 x 77.5 cm
25 3/8 x 30 1/2 in.
N01290
P116B
According to Constable, Edward Higginson; his sale, Christie's 4 June 1846 (128, The Bathers), bt Farrer; noted in Beckett List as bt from H. Farrer for cash in January 1848; bequeathed to the National Gallery by John Staniforth Beckett, 1889; transferred to the Tate 1955; on loan to Downing Street until late 1986
Constable has noted:
Pink overtones are unusual for Wilson. The foliage at the right is painted very approximately. The architectural temple is ham-fisted and the sky above it is gloopy. The highlighting of the boulder etc. to the right is uncharacteristic.

Kate Lowry has noted:
Possibly ultramarine in the sky. Rather mechanical orange blobs of paint in the foliage. The strips of cloud are quite delicate and unlike Wilson, though the sky is painted thickly down to horizon and around the tree branches at the right. The foreground figures are not convincing for Wilson.
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J.M.W. Turner, watercolour (T.B. XXXIII-I, Tate, London)
One of numerous idealised landscapes by Wilson, based on the scenery he had observed in Italy in the 1750s.The domed ruin in the centre is derived from a building just outside Rome, known in the 18th century as the Temple of Minerva Medica. The nude bathers in the foreground, with their overtones of classical sculpture, likewise suggest antiquity.
No. 281 in typed list of the Beckett collection (National Gallery Library); WGC, p. 213 pl. 99b version 1
This painting differs from the Huntington version (P116) mainly in the absence of shrubs in the foreground left, in the grouping of the animals, in showing more of the interior of the ruin and in omitting the square building on the hill, mid-distance right, and the boats on the river.
Surface cleaned and varnished at the National Gallery, 1889. Conserved by Holder and discoloured varnish was removed, August 1948. Treated in 1982 (completed June). Simple weave linen with grey ground. Kate Lowry has noted:
Original canvas turnovers lost at time of lining. Possibly ultramarine present in the sky; rather mechanical orange blobs of paint in foliage. Strips of cloud in the sky are quite delicate and unlike Wilson's usual style, although sky is painted thickly down to horizon and around the tree branches at right. Foreground figures not convincing for Wilson either. Foliage and foreground highlights not convincing. Rather slick bright tones throughout especially in sky and figures. Poor quality willow tree on opposite bank.