Landscape with a large Rock (The Marsden Rock)

Landscape with a large Rock (The Marsden Rock)
Landscape with a large Rock (The Marsden Rock)
Landscape with a large Rock 
(The Marsden Rock)
The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Landscape with a large Rock (The Marsden Rock)
c.1752 (undated)
Black, brown and white chalk on light brown paper in old mount
Metric: 184 x 227 mm
Imperial: 7 1/4 x 8 15/16 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
Three figures stand before a rocky archway at the water's edge with a lengthy bridge distantly discernible to left and right
Colnaghi; bt Sir Robert Clermont Witt in an exchange 1937; Witt Bequest 1952
Signed in black chalk lower left: R.W.f.
[1] Lower centre, black ink: Wilson
[2] Lower right, blotted black ink: Marsden Rock
[3] Lower right corner, black ink: C & R [?]
Collectors' marks
[1] Recto lower left corner: Sir Robert Witt
[2] Recto lower right: C & R [?]
Marsden Rock is a rock formation off the coast of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, North East England. It is a sea stack 30 metres (100 feet) high which lies approximately 91 metres (100 yards) off the main cliff face.
Critical commentary
The identification as Marsden Rock is problematic as Wilson is not known to have visited this region of northern England. It also raises questions as to the date of the drawing, which appears stylistically to be earlier rather than later in his career.
More Information
Marsden Rock is accessible on foot during low tide. In 1803 a flight of steps was constructed up the side but in 1911 a large section of the rock collapsed into the sea leaving it as an arch. Continued tidal erosion caused the arch itself to collapse in 1996, splitting the rock into two separate stacks, and the following year the smaller stack was declared unsafe and demolished. Today Marsden Rock is owned by the National Trust.
The drawing has been laid down in the past and the reverse shows evidence of old glued paper
Updated by Compiler
2016-04-26 00:00:00