Study of Figures for 'Ego fui in Arcadia'

Study of Figures for 'Ego fui in Arcadia'
Study of Figures for 'Ego fui in Arcadia'
Study of Figures for 'Ego fui in Arcadia'
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Study of Figures for 'Ego fui in Arcadia'
c.1755 (undated)
Black chalk with white gouache on medium, rough-textured, blue-grey laid paper mounted on thick, moderately-textured, cream laid paper
Metric: 194 x 271 mm
Imperial: 7 5/8 x 10 11/16 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
Two men in antique costume, the nearer carrying a long staff, stand in contemplation before a large inscribed stone fragment at the lower right
Birmingham 1948-9 (119 - Study for Cicero's Villa); London 1949 (118)
Archibald G.B. Russell (1879-1955); Pickles sale, Sotheby's 11 July 1928 (72), bt Maser (£1); Witt collectrion; Thomas Lowinsky; Mrs Thomas Lowinsky; acquired 1977
Inscribed in black chalk on stone fragment, lower right: 'EGO FVI IN | ARCADIA'
Collectors' marks
1) Recto, upper left. 'TEL' in circle: Thomas Lowinsky (Lugt 2420a)
2) Recto, lower left. crown above flower [?]
3) Verso 'RM' in hexagonal shape
The theme deals with mortality and the transience of human existence. It occurs in a number of seventeenth-century paintings, notably one by Guercino and two by Nicolas Poussin.
Related Drawings
D53/39 Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 39
Related Paintings
P69 Ego fui in Arcadia, Private Collection, England
Related Works by Other Artists
[1] Guercino, Et in Arcadia Ego c.1618-22, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome;
[2] Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia Ego, 1627, Chatsworth House;
[3] Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia Ego, 1637-38, Musée du Louvre, Paris
Critical commentary
This is a study for the Arcadian shepherds in P69 Ego fui in Arcadia. Wilson may have been initially inspired by Guercino's Et in Arcadia Ego, which in his day was in the Corsini Gallery, Rome.
Previous Cat/Ref Nos
Object ID:15146
B. Ford, Country Life, 19 November 1948, p. 1054 (repr.); Ford 1951, p. 54, pl. 18; WGC, p. 160 under pl. 17b; Ford 1952, p. 313, fig. 4; Spencer-Longhurst 2012, pp. 71-72, fig.41
More Information
The form of the inscription differs from the more usual 'Et in Arcadia Ego', used by Poussin and other artists
Dimensions of mount: 198 x 276 mm; 7 13/16 x 10 7/8 in.
Updated by Compiler
2017-01-16 00:00:00