Wilson Online Reference
Galassi 1991
Peter Galassi
Corot in Italy. Open-Air Painting and the Classical-Landscape Tradition
Yale University Press
New Haven, USA and London, UK
Date of Publication
Secondary published
Document Inventory/Accession No
ISBN 0-300-04957-9
More Information
259 pp., profusely illustrated in colour and monochrome. The book is a development of the author's dissertation at Columbia Unversity New York. Approximately half of it is about Corot; much of the rest concerns the international school of open-air painting that he joined when he arrived in Italy. Wilson is discussed on pp. 18, 20-21, 42, 83, 89, 225, 236 n. 88, and illustrated as pls 13, 14 & 102.
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Sections most relevant to Wilson: '[ ... ] In the 1750s, Richard Wilson had produced a similar [to John Robert Cozens] range of drawings from familiar views (pl. 14 [D298]) to unnamed fragments of nature (pl. 13 [D280/13]). Wilson in turn was repeating the example of Claude, whose drawings present just such a continuum from instantly recognizable motifs of topography to vivid details of nature.' (pp. 20-21) 'The French school of paysage historique belonged to a broad, international movement. Certainly in Italy Valenciennes had become familiar with the revival of ideal landscape initiated there by Richard Wilson in the 1750s.' (p. 42) 'Wilson emulated the poetic art of Claude but often introduced recognizable landmarks into his pictures, blurring the distinction between high art and topography (pl. 102 [P57]).' (p. 89) 'In Britain the far richer development of landscape painting [than the Danish] owed far less to the Italian precedent. In the eighteenth century British artists, from Wilson to Cozens to Jones, had played a major role in the unfolding of landscape painting and sketching in Italy, and the work they did there profoundly influenced developments at home. But between 1793 and 1814 - precisely when outdoor painting was emerging in Italy as a tradition - political conditions excluded British painters from Italy. By the time Turner first traveled there in 1819, he was a fully mature artist who readily absorbed the Italian tradition of outdoor painting into his own wide-ranging program.' (p. 225)