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River Scene with Bathers, Cattle and Ruin
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, on loan to Jesus College
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
River Scene with Bathers, Cattle and Ruin
1762 or 1768
Oil on canvas
31 x 50 cm
12 3/16 x 19 11/16 in.
Sir Charles Biron; Sotheby's 19 June 1940 (83); bequeathed by E.H.W. Meyerstein, 1953
Unsigned, no inscription
This painting is more freely painted than some of the other versions. Blobby dots, for example on the two sheep and cow in the middle right ground, suggest that the picture comes from earlier rather than later in Wilson's career. Replica status is supported by by the edging of the clouds and the highlighting of the wood at the left. Also the temple and the shadows of the trees in the water are not very precise.
The temple is based on that of Minerva Medica in Rome
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J.M.W. Turner, watercolour (T.B. XXXIII-I, Tate, London)
Probably an idealised vision of Italy, painted after Wilson's return to England and incorporating elements found in other works. However, the tower on the hilltop is of an English church in this version. A possible date scratched and obscured by black on the boulder reads 1762 or 1768.
In a contemporary [?] carved and gilded frame. Hardboard backing board. Diagonal weave canvas. Pronounced craquelure overall. Two small paint losses top left edge about quarter of width along; one small paint loss upper right edge about a quarter of the height from top.Black flymarks [?] in sky upper centre.