Study for Croome Court, Worcestershire

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Study for Croome Court, Worcestershire
Study for Croome Court, Worcestershire
Study for Croome Court, Worcestershire
Private Collection, England
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Study for Croome Court, Worcestershire
1758 (undated)
Black chalk and stump over graphite, heightened with white on white laid paper.
Metric: 331 x 239 mm
Imperial: 13 x 9 3/8 in.
Private Collection
Wilson Online Reference
London 1925 (84); Manchester 1925 (6); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (82)
Commissioned by the 6th Earl of Coventry; [...] Captain Richard Ford; Mrs Richard Ford
Unsigned; no inscription
Verso inscriptions
[1] Ink in a later hand: Croome Lord Coventry's.
Croome Court was the first independent landscaping project carried out by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-1783). The house itself, the church, the wooden bridge and the ice-house in the park were also built to his designs.
Related Paintings
P83 Croome Court, Worcestershire, Private Collection, England
Critical commentary
A study for P83 Croome Court, Worcestershire, the sheet seems to have been cut down at some point - the far right of the final scene is missing and the drawing seems to have been cropped right along the edge of Croome Court. On the ridge to the left of the house is the proposed classical church, which is very different from the Gothic building eventually constructed and visible in P83. When Wilson executed this study, the church was not built and the design had not been finalised between Brown and Lord Coventry. They had planned a classical church with a portico and columns but this was eventually scrapped. It would have been similar to the chapel at Compton Verney, which Brown designed in the late 1770s. At some point Wilson must have seen designs for or a description of the final church as shown in P83. It was not built until the early 1760s and not consecrated until 1763.
Solkin has remarked how the study clearly distinguishes between its two sources of visual inspiration - the Netherlandish and Roman traditions of landscape composition. Thus while the pencil lines, drawn on the spot, describe a Dutch type of river scene, this has then been worked up in the studio through the addition of a Claudean framing tree and extensive modelling in black chalk, stump and white highlights.
Ford 1951 p.62, no. 72; WGC pp. 43. 71, 87, 88, 111, 149, 173, pl. 33b; Solkin 1982, pp. 196-97
Link to WG Constable Archive Record