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Gypsies near the Entrance to a Wood
Anglesey Abbey, National Trust
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782) and Studio
Gypsies near the Entrance to a Wood
c.1771 (undated)
Oil on canvas
32.4 x 40.6 cm
12 3/4 x 16 in.
AA/P/011
P176A
Two female gypsy figures on the left have halted on a path, overlooking Rome on the right, seen in the distance on the plain below. Another rests by the edge of the road to the right, overlooking the view. To one side is a shady wood, to the right of the path there is a row of trees and on the left a large gnarled tree.
RA 1779 (353 a version; with Leggatt London, June- August 1947 (45 A Woody Road Scene: Sunset)
A.P. Humphrey sale, Christie's 4 October 1946 (72), bt Leggatt; Lord Fairhaven, Anglesey Abbey.
Unsigned.
Faint inscription on milestone l.l.: XV
David Solkin has noted that by comparison with most of Wilson's earlier Italian landscapes, this painting is rather less classical and more purely picturesque in subject as well as in its mode of presentation. This is Italy as a modern foreign land and not, at least in any overt sense, Italy as the setting for ruins of classical antiquity. Together with this change of thematic emphasis comes a different kind of pictorial language, more closely allied with the Dutch tradition of views of common nature than to the grandiose productions of the Roman school.
E50 Samuel Alken after Wilson, The Gypsies, 1783, The British Museum (1877,0811.497) plus other impressions
E72/5 Hastings after Wilson, The Gypsies, The British Museum (1854,0708.62)
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The National Trust calalogue entry notes that the modest quality of the painting, together with the number of recorded versions of the compositon, make it uncertain whether it is an autograph repetition, based on the prime version of the drawing with variations, of what was anyway a late composition - or a later copy by another hand. Solkin accepts its authenticity.
7(60)
WGC, pp. 199-200 under pl. 79b (2)
Anglesey Abbey, its gardens and and its contents, including this painting, were endowed and left to the National Trust on his death by Huttlestone Rogers Broughton, 1st Lord Fairhaven.
Satisfactory condition but with discoloured varnish. Kate Lowry has noted: Colours seem to be too bright for Wilson; sky is very blue and the trees very green. The standing figures are also brightly painted and the seated figure is out of scale.