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River Landscape: Evening
Private Collection
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
River Landscape: Evening
Early 1770s
Oil on canvas
48.2 x 61.4 cm
19 x 24 3/16 in.
Private Collection, Wales
P183
With Max Rothschild, London; 1941, with Agnew's, sold to J.H. Patterson, 1941; with Gooden and Fox, London; bt Mr & Mrs Sydney Ernest Prestige; Mrs C.K. Prestige, sold Sotheby's 3 April 1968 (60), bt Agnew's; Dr Denis John Williams; thence by descent; Miles Wynn Cato Gallery, Ludlow
Painted in an uncharacteristically impressionist fashion. The figures are also uncharacteristic. Some of the pigments are also unusual, e.g the purple on the horizon. Although unusually filmy the tree is painted over a reserve leaving the ground to show around the edges of the foliage to give the tree a light and airy appearance. Dark underdrawing lines are clearly visible positioning both the figure of the sleeping shepherd and the general shape of the far riverbank.
The poetry and lyricism of the composition demonstrate Wilson's artistic imagination more than any specific topographical intent. The relative scale of the foreground and middle ground figures seems miscalculated in a way unusual for Wilson.
WGC, pp. 95, 231, pl. 129b
In an 18th century Maratta frame. Relined. Under UV little later intervention was seen and no signature was visible.
Kate Lowry has noted: Simple weave canvas, glue relined. Original turnovers removed. Pale grey commercial ground. Sky underpainted pale pink at upper left. Foreground underpainted warm transparent brown. In many areas the paint is thinly applied leaving the underpaint easily visible. Possibly slightly unfinished. Recently cleaned and retouched by Annabelle Monaghan. Under UV light minor recent retouches are visible across the sky; also minor retouches in heads of figures at lower left and around animals at lower right. Painted lines in the right hand figure and dark purplish tones on the horizon may be earlier oil retouches. There is a fill and retouch in the main tree.