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The Valley of the Mawddach, with Cader Idris beyond
Manchester City Galleries
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Valley of the Mawddach, with Cader Idris beyond
1770-75 (undated)
Oil on canvas
91.7 x 106.7 cm
36 1/8 x 42 in.
A mountainous landscape in Wales viewed from a high vantage point, with an overall grey-green tone. In the left foreground is a dark slope with trees silhouetted against the sky and large boulders at its foot. Below this, a group of figures on horseback negotiate their way downhill towards trees lining the river Mawddach below, which meanders along the valley from the right bottom corner of the composition towards the centre. A slope scattered with trees rises gently up to the right on the far side of the river. From behind this slope, a more thickly wooded slope emerges to ascend up towards the left edge of the composition. On the horizon are the hazy peaks of Cader Idris and Mynydd Moel. The scene is lit by pale yellow sunshine coming from behind and to the left of these mountains.
[?] RA 1774 (316) - a version entitled View of Caderidris Mountains in north Wales; London 1925 (37 - A Welsh Valley); Manchester 1925 (52 - A Welsh Valley); Manchester, British Art 1934 (48); London 1934 (245 - A Welsh Valley); Hull 1936 (37 - A Welsh Valley); Paris 1938 (155, with incorrect dimensions); MOMA Machynlleth, Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape, 19 March - 18 June 2016 (unnumbered)
Mrs Gibbons (according to Gillott sale catalogue); Joseph Gillott; Christie's 26 April 1872 (237 - A View in Wales: approach to Snowdon, with horseman descending a hill), bt Agnew; either bt in or bt back by Gillott; his sale, Christie's 20 April 1904 (46), bt Shepherd; bt 1905 by Manchester Art Gallery
Unsigned; no inscription
See 'Links' tab
Commemorative Catalogue 1934 (116, pl. XL); Manchester City Art Gallery, Concise Catalogue of British Paintings, vol 1, 1976, p. 203; P. Wakelin, Romancing Wales: Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape since 1770, 2016, pp. 10-11, repr.
Dimensions framed: 122.5 x 137cm. Kate Lowry has noted: Rather ill-defined image made worse by the extensive dark blue grey retouches in upper sky and on central mountain. Figures on horseback also retouched. Light coloured smoke effect at centre right is effective. River in valley bottom lacks detail.