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River Mouth with Peasants dancing
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
River Mouth with Peasants dancing
c.1770-80 (undated)
Oil on canvas
85.7 x 121.3 cm
33 3/4 x 47 3/4 in.
42-1880
P177A
An atmospheric Italianate scene with extensive sea and mountains in the distance, framing trees and in the middle ground the mouth of a river with a ruined circular temple standing on its left bank next to a ruined bridge. In the foreground is a group of five gaily clad peasants, a man and a woman dancing at the left and nearer the centre a standing woman playing a lute, a seated man playing a flute and in front of them a reclining man een from behind. To their left are four sheep, and to the right is a half-open antique tomb.
Thomas Kelsall, Hampstead; given to Claud Russell, Binfield Manor, Berkshire; December 1819, bequeathed to his wife, Leonora Russell; 1829, Revd Alexander Benn Russell, her youngest son; sold by him through John Singer of Frome to Captain H.B. Festing; 1880, purchased by Victoria & Albert Museum
Unsigned; no inscription
D214 Roman Campagna with Peasants Dancing, The Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum, New York
E72/26 Thomas Hastings, On the Arno The British Museum (1854,0708.83) and other impressions
E74 Reynolds after Wilson, various impressions of Evening, mezzotint (Gems of Art, 1 May 1824, pl. XII).
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WGC, p. 216, pl. 105a; Summary Catalogue of British Paintings, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1973
In 1953 Constable reported the work as rubbed and apparently repainted in places.Kate Lowry has noted:
Linen canvas is coarse plain weave. Glue relined. All original turnovers removed at time of lining. Pale grey or off-white ground. Style of figures appears too modern for Wilson and the sky is not painted down to the horizon as is usual for Wilson, instead the landscape is painted up to meet the sky. Varnish rather discoloured. Last cleaned in 1893.