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The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
c.1751 (undated)
Black ink and bistre wash over graphite
157 x 210 mm
6 3/16 x 8 1/4 in.
Private Collection, England
RF58
D17
Palladio's Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, is seen from the Canale di San Marco by the Doge's Palace.
London 1925 (86A); Exeter 1946 (36); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (12); Birmingham 1993 (55); Conwy 2009 (2); Gainsborough's House 2014 (unnumbered)
William Lock; his sale, Sotheby's 3 May 1821; Marianne Ford; thence by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
This is Wilson's only known study of Venice in pen and wash. He probably experimented with the medium in imitation of contemporary Venetian painters, including Canaletto. Faint outlines in graphite are to be seen in the sky.
[1] Laundry list in Wilson's hand: Cravats, Stocks, Pr. Stockings, 1 Silk, Napkins, Night
Wilson arrived in Venice in late October or November 1750, where he stayed for about a year before moving on to Rome at the end of 1751. He seems to have assimilated ideas from contemporary Venetian view-painting and the technique of this drawing suggests that he experimented with the effects of pen and wash in the manner of Canaletto and other vedutisti.
Ford 1951, p.18; Solkin 1982, p. 153; Canaletto & England 1993, p. 128; Walpole Society 1998-I, p. 69, RF 58; Lord 2009, repr. p. 12, p. 48 (no. 2)
15/05/2020