Landscape, Hills and Castle by an Estuary

Landscape, Hills and Castle by an Estuary
Landscape, Hills and Castle by an Estuary
Landscape, Hills and Castle by an Estuary
Private Collection / Photograph by Matthew Hollow
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Landscape, Hills and Castle by an Estuary
c.1750 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 60 x 117.5 cm (sight size)
Imperial: 23 5/8 x 46 1/4 in. (sight size)
Private Collection, England
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
An English church is visible at the lower right while at the upper left the hill town looks distinctly Italian, as do the mountains iin the background. Two gentleman observe the distant estuary, one an artist sitting, the other standing behind him to the left. The artist holds a small white tablet in his left hand and draws.
London, Royal Academy 1954-55, European Masters of the Eighteenth Century (106)
Major W.R.D. Mackenzie; Earl of Wharton
Unsigned; no inscription
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Critical commentary
The sky is rosy but the lighting is soft and overall the colouring is rococo, e.g. the gentlemen's costumes, supporting a pre-Italian date. Perhaps the picture was started in Britain and finished in Italy. Its unusual shape - almost exactly twice as long as high - suggests that it may have been intended as an overdoor or for a particular setting.
Constable 1954, p. 144, fig. 10
Glue relined, late 19th or early 20th century stretcher. Excellent overall condition apart from slightly discoloured varnish. Kate Lowry has noted: Simple weave linen canvas, glue relined onto similar weight linen. Five member pine stretcher with square mortice joints and provision for keying out, probably dating from early 20th century. Original turnovers probably removed at the time of lining. Ground colour difficult to determine but as no obvious warm tone apparent it is probably a pale grey.
The two figures at centre left are very much in the style of Canaletto and the figures coming up over the hill to the right of them are very typical of Wilson. The landscape behind to the left is Italian, with high rocky cliffs, hilltop town and classical ruins, whilst that running down to the coast to the right is English with church towers and cottages visible. These two very different landscapes are divided by a tree in the foreground toward the left, whose foliage is painted across the sky paint without any reserve.
Updated by Compiler
2020-04-22 00:00:00