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View of Carlton House, with a Royal Party in the Grounds
Tate, London 2014
Ascribed to Wilson
View of Carlton House, with a Royal Party in the Grounds
c.1732-36 (undated)
Oil on canvas
63.5 x 75.6 cm
25 x 29 3/4 in.
The view is from a garden adjoining the old Carlton House, looking east towards the back of the house and Whitehall, with the Banqueting House in the far right. The time seems to be late afternoon and the royal party is led in the centre middle ground by Frederick, Prince of Wales and his new consort, Princess Augusta, in whose circles Wilson moved.
Bequeathed by Richard and Catherine Garnons, 1854
Unsigned; no inscription
The technique is wooden and naive compared with Wilson's next earliest landscape P3 The Hall of the Inner Temple after the Fire of 4 January 1736/37, Tate, London
An earlier house on the site was rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century for Henry Boyle, created Baron Carleton in 1714. He bequeathed it to his nephew, Lord Burlington, whose mother sold it in 1732 to Frederick, Prince of Wales, for whom William Kent laid out the garden from 1733. Frederick's widow, Augusta, enlarged the house but it remained a rambling structure without architectural cohesion.
Stylistically incomparable with any of Wilson's known landscapes, it is just possible that this was Wilson's earliest attempt at landscape after his arrival in London.
V. Remington, Painting Paradise, London 2015, p. 167, n. 19
Carlton House, Pall Mall, London SW1 (now demolished)
On 23 December 1734 Sir Thomas Robinson, a member of the Prince of Wales's circle, reported to Lord Carlisle on the Prince's enlightened taste in gardening embodied at Carlton House: 'There is a new taste in gardening just arisen, which has been practiced with so great success at the Prince's garden in Town, that a general alteration of some of the most considerable gardens of the kingdom is begun, after Mr Kent's notion of gardening, viz., to lay them out and work without either level or line ... when finished it has the appearance of beautiful nature, and without being told one would imagine art had no part in the finishing.' (cited by Remington, see Bibliography).