Wilson Online Reference
Simon 1979
Robin Simon
'New Light on Richard Wilson'
The Burlington Magazine
London, UK
Date of Publication
July 1979
Secondary published
More Information
Vol. 121, no. 916, pp. 437-39.The article explores hitherto unnoticed manuscript anecdotes pencilled in the margins of a copy of Wright 1824 acquired in 1975 by Nottingham University Library. Three of the four are signed F.C. Pack (Faithfull Christopher Pack, 1759-1840), the fourth G. Arnald (George Arnald 1763-1841). In addition there are five study-sketches in pencil, mainly of clouds over the sea, which the author attributes to Arnald.
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Quoted comments by Pack: 'I am confident Mr Wilson never employed any one to paint Figures for him I remember seeing the picture of Meleager at Mr Mortimers (he was to have been my instructor but death robbed me.) he said Wilson has been here he heared that I had been employed to paint other Figures in the place of His in the picture of Meleagor (sic) I said I have done so and showed him the Picture and he seemed much displeased and said your Figures are good but you have not put them back in their right places and have broken the unity of effect that I had left F. C. Pack'. [p. 21] '[George] Barret was brought into notice by Mr Burck (sic) [Edmund Burke] I was with him for some days in 1797 at Beconsfield (sic) and he produced several pictures by Barret that he had never hung up I noticed one in particular and said it is much in the stile of Wilson he said it is I recommended him to imitate him I said so to Wilson his answer was that those who follow after always go behind F.C. Pack'. [p. 34] 'This is true the man was not a shoemaker he was only a cobbler but he afterwards became a great dealer and coniseur his name was ...... The Broker lived in More Fields his name was Smart he afterward became a Dealer in Pictures but his great chapman was ...... the walking stick dealer in Exeter Change the picture generally little bits on old coach pannels the usual price was 5 shillings most are falling into the hands of people in low circumstances but I have seen many of them bound up [?] little bits Wilson used to spend many of his evenings and eat his supper with this man in his little bulk [stall] for it was nothing else this was in his last days of extreme poverty. F.C. Pack'. [pp. 36-37] Quoted comment by Arnald: 'Mr [Thomas] Stowers once told me that a person at one time addressed Wilson saying Mr Wilson - there is something extraordinary in your painting - you must have some scientific principle in your practice. What is it. Why said Wilson, I paint upon my pictures until I like them and then I leave them. G. Arnald'. [pp. 15-16]
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