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The White Monk - IV
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Studio of Wilson
The White Monk - IV
c.1760s (undated)
Oil on canvas
64.8 x 81.3 cm
25 1/2 x 32 in.
03/1083
P147
A sunlit river landscape is seen against voluminous clouds. On the left is a prominent boulder, against which rests a stick, with others on the ground nearby. There are two large trees and a feathery sapling with a single bird on the right, and in the left middle distance, a wooded cliff and promontory, on the edge of which is silhouetted a gabled chapel with religious figures in obeisance before it. A hilltop town and mountains are in the background and other buildings on the plain below.
From 1992 on long-term loan to Salomon Brothers International, London; London 2012 (unnumbered); Tercentenary 2014 (98)
Given by Frederick John Nettlefold, 1948
D344 Richard Wilson, Banks of the Tiber 1757, Rhode Island Museum of Art, School of Design, Providence
E17 James Roberts after Wilson, The White Monk (Untitled), The British Museum and other impressions
E72/22 Thomas Hastings after Wilson, The White Monk, 1822, The British Museum (1854,0708.79) and other impressions
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P144 Richard Wilson, The White Monk - I, Toledo Museum of Art
P144A Wilson and Studio, The White Monk - I, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
NWP144E Ascribed to Wilson, The White Monk - I, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
P144F Richard Wilson, The White Monk - I, Private Collection
P145 Richard Wilson, The White Monk - II, The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston
P145A Richard Wilson, The White Monk - II, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
P145B Richard Wilson, The White Monk - II, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton
P146 Richard Wilson, The White Monk - III, Private Collection
P146A Richard Wilson, The White Monk - III, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
P146B Richard Wilson, The White Monk - III, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
P147 and P147A differ from other versions of The White Monk in having no seated figures or parasol in the right foreground. Of the three main variants of the subject, the present work is closest in composition to P144 The White Monk - I (Toledo Museum of Art), having a wayside shrine rather than a cross on the promontory and no buildings at the upper left. However, the style is not that of Wilson himself. The tiny figures on the promontory are certainly not his and there is uncharacteristic sharp impasto in the rock and the waterfall. The name of his pupil, William Hodges has recently been proposed by Jonathan Yarker. Martin Postle has recently suggested a more exact setting than previously acknowledged, e.g. by W.G. Constable, who recorded that it had sometimes been identified as Tivoli or a lower part of the Aniene gorge. Postle proposed the upper Aniene valley, looking east towards the Prenestini mountains and the rocky outcrops of Mentorella and Guadagnolo. This is an area associated historically with a chain of Benedictine monasteries, thus providing context for the presence of monks on the promontory.
PL008709
Grundy & Roe, vol. 4, pp. 148 & 150-51, repr. col.; WGC, p. 228, pl. 122a version II, 7; Wilson and Europe 2014, p. 282
Dimensions framed: 66.5 x 83.9 x 20 cm (26 3/16 x 33 x 7 7/8 in.). Roman nineteenth-century frame, composition gilded with backing of kapaboard. A conservation report dated 18 October 1995, gives details of a patch on the reverse, repainting of a hole at the upper left (from reverse); also old fill and overpaint over a hole in the tree trunk. Light blue infilling at the right edge.
12/01/2021