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On Hounslow Heath
Tate, London 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
On Hounslow Heath
c.1765 (undated)
Oil on canvas
42.5 x 52.7 cm
16 3/4 x 20 3/4 in.
N04458
P131
An extensive landscape with a market woman in a red dress seated on a bank in the left foreground, her back to the viewer and a basket by her side. Beyond is a river, on the near bank of which two donkeys are grazing. Upstream are a weir and a thickly-wooded island.
RA 1770 (203 - a version); Brighton 1920 (11); London 1925 (11); Manchester 1925 (40); Birmingham 1948 (36); London 1949 (35); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (111); Tercentenary 2014 (140)
Commissioned by Thomas Davies (1712-85); Benjamin Booth; Revd R.S.Booth; Lady Ford; Richard Ford; Sir F. Clare Ford; Captain Richard Ford, sold 14 June 1929 (20), bt R.E.A. Wilson and M. Liver (Savile Gallery, 900 guineas); presented through the National Art Collections Fund to the National Gallery by R.E.A. Wilson and M. Oliver, 1929; transferred to Tate Gallery
Unsigned; no inscription
The view shows part of the watermeadows beside the River Crane near Whitton Place, an estate on Hounslow Heath acquired in 1765 by Wilson's friend, the architect Sir William Chambers.
D360 A View of On Hounslow Heath, Private Collection, UK, c/o Lowell Libson Ltd
Thomas Hastings after Richard Wilson:
E72/1 The British Museum
E72/1A The British Museum
E72/1B Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Hounslow Heath was not known for its beauty or cultural significance, the attraction lies in the beauty of the sky and the reflections in the water. The patron, Thomas Davies, was a Bloomsbury bookseller, one of a new breed of middle class buyers whom Wilson had not previously approached. In Booth's unpublished list the work is given as '17 Hounslow Heath sd to be taken near Wootton late D. Argyle's (?) for Tom Davies 20 3/4 - 15 1/4'. In his introduction to Etchings from the Works of Ric. Wilson, with some Memoirs of his Life &c., Thomas Hastings states that 'Paul Sandby was with Wilson at the time the Sketch was made for the subject of Hounslow Heath'.
Booth Notes Doc. 8; Booth Notes Doc. 9 (17 - Hounslow Heath sd to be taken near Wootton late D. Argyle's (?) for Tom Davies 20 3/4 - 17); Hastings 1825, p. 9; The Burlington Magazine, April 1920; Rutter 1923, p. 92; WGC, pp. 93, 177-78, pl. 39b; Davies 1946, pp. 178-79, cat. 4458; Davies 1959, pp. 105-6; Hayes 1964, pp. 338-39, fig. 38; Herrmann 1973, p. 58, pl. 51, detail, col. pl. VII; Solkin 1982, p. 220, no. 111; Waites 2012, pp. 56-57, pl. 7; Wilson and Europe 2014 (140)
The patron, Thomas Davies, was a Bloomsbury bookseller, one of a new breed of middle class buyers whom Wilson had not previously approached. In Booth's unpublished list the work is given as '17 Hounslow Heath sd to be taken near Wootton late D. Argyle's (?) for Tom Davies 20 3/4 - 15 1/4'. In his introduction to Etchings from the Works of Ric. Wilson, with some Memoirs of his Life &c., Hastings says that 'Paul Sandby was with Wilson at the time the Sketch was made for the subject of Hounslow Heath' (p.9)
Dimensions framed: 60.8 x 72.5 cm (23 15/16 x 28 1/2 in.)
Visual examination and sampling by Ann Baxter 1982.
Kate Lowry has noted: Relined. Original tacking margins missing. Warm cream coloured ground applied in two layers with intervening size layer. Ultramarine found in the sky. Pentiment in central trees where Wilson has painted out one of the right hand branches and repainted it in a different position. Foreground impasto somewhat flattened by lining treatment.
Burlington Magazine, April 1920, p. 193
08/11/2017