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River and Fishermen
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
River and Fishermen
Later 1770s
Oil on wood
12.1 x 14 cm
4 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.
Private Collection, England
Two men are fishing from the bank of a meandering river in the centre foreground. In the middle distance on the right two women walk towards a church.
Brighton 1920 (26 - Italian Landscape); Exeter 1946 (56 - Men fishing); London 1968 (8); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (144); Conwy 2009 (27); Weston 2011 (29); Gainsborough House 2014 (unnumbered)
Benjamin Booth; The Revd R.S. Booth; Lady Ford; Richard Ford; Sir Francis Clare Ford; John G. Ford; Brinsley Ford; thence by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
Unusual among Wilson's paintings as being on panel, this was quite probably one of the old coach panels on which he is known to have been forced to paint on for want of materials at the end of his life.
While perhaps based on nature, the scene is almost certainly imaginary evoking the landscape of Italy
E72/20 Thomas Hastings after Wilson, Italian [sic] (River and Fishermen), The British Museum (1854,0708.77) and other impressions
Figures and a tower with an Italianate belvedere are part of Wilson's standard repertoire, harking back to earlier compositions, and much repeated in his old age. Thomas Hastings, who etched the work stated that it was 'immediately from Nature' and 'an out-door sketch' (Hastings 1825, p. 15).
Booth Notes, Doc. 9 (1); WGC, pp. 92, 109, 215, pl. 102b; Solkin 1982, p. 248; Walpole Society 1998-I, p. 18, BB33; Lord 2009, p.60, no. 27; Williams 2011, pp. 40-41, repr.
Thickly painted on a small and crudely fashioned panel - probably a cheap coach panel