On Hounslow Heath

On Hounslow Heath
On Hounslow Heath
On Hounslow Heath
Tate, London 2014
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
On Hounslow Heath
Oil on canvas
Metric: 43.8 x 54 cm
Imperial: 17 1/4 x 21 1/4 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
An extensive landscape with a market woman in a red dress seated on a bank in the left foreground, her back to the viewer and a basket by her side. Beyond is a river, on the near bank of which donkeys and sheep are grazing. Upstream are a weir and a thickly-wooded island.
R.A. 1770 (a version); Sudbury 1991 (10)
George Augustus Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck (1821-1891), 3 Grafton Street, London W.1 and Brownsea Island; sold Christie's 8 July 1891 (536), bt James; Mrs Arthur James, 3 Grafton Street London W.1. and Coton House Rugby; bequeathed to the National Gallery by Mrs Arthur James 1948; transferred to Tate Gallery 1955
Techniques and materials
Oil on plain weave linen canvas. Probably drying oil. Painted with a rich vehicular paste paint over imprimatura of pale earth pink below sky and water.Dark, warm brown earth below landscape.
Verso inscriptions
[1] Stencil top right of horizontal top stretcher crossmember: 3 [?]7 4
The view, looking east, shows part of the watermeadows beside the River Crane near Whitton Place, an estate on Hounslow Heath acquired in 1765 by Wilson's friend, the architect Sir William Chambers.
Related Drawings
D360 A View of On Hounslow Heath, Private Collection, UK, c/o Lowell Libson Ltd
Related Prints
Thomas Hastings after Richard Wilson:
E72/1 The British Museum
E72/1A The British Museum
E72/1B Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
See 'Links' tab
Critical commentary
Perhaps a preliminary sketch for the finished version of the subject, shown at the Royal Academy in 1770. The site was undistinguished, not more than a piece of common nature and treated in the unpretentious manner of seventeenth-century Dutch art. The attraction lies in the beauty of the sky and the reflections in the water. Solkin has suggested that such a picture would appeal to a new type of urban professional buyer, who looked to painting for simple pleasure and escape from the stresses of city life.
WGC, p.178, pl. 39b (version 2); Hayes 1964, p. 339; Herrmann 1973, p. 58; Solkin 1982, pp. 104-106, 220
More Information
In his introduction to Etchings from the Works of Ric. Wilson, with some Memoirs of his Life &c., Hastings says ''Paul Sandby was with Richard Wilson at the time the Sketch was amde for the subject of Honslow Heath (p.9). However it is unclear whether this refers to a drawing, an independent sketch in oil or the lay-in for the finished picture.
Frame size: 65 x 75.4 x 11. 5 cm. Relined. Cleaned, retouched and revarnished on acquisition by the National Gallery in 1947. Cleaned and revarnished July 1954; cleaned February 1982.