Wilson Online Reference
Hayes 1966
John Hayes
'British Patrons and Landscape Painting: 2. Eighteenth-century Collecting'
Apollo Magazine
Date of Publication
March 1966
Secondary published
More Information
Vol. 83, pp. 188-97. The second of four articles by Hayes on British patrons and landscape painting published in Apollo 1965-67. Wilson is discussed on pp. 195-97.
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[ ... ] by 1810 at least outstanding landscapes by any of the old masters fetched equally good prices, and [ ... ] the anomaly at this date was not between ideal and naturalistic landscape, but between old master prices generally and the value set upon contemporary English landscape panting [ ... ] very few Gainsborough landscapes realized even as much as £100 before 1810. Wilson's landscapes were much more highly regarded, since his style was based on the approved Italian masters, and by 1800 recognized full scale copies of his works were being made for sale. In 1806 Seguier spoke of 'the great rise in the price of Wilson's pictures' and in 1808 Payne Knight commented 'that pictures by Wilson for which he had [been paid] 30 or 40 guineas now sell for 3, 4, or 500 guineas.' If Payne Knight's statement seems to be somewhat of an exaggeration, several landscapes certainly fetched well over £100 before 1810; [ ... ] the Phaethon formerly at Panshanger [P119A] was originally purchased by Earl Cowper for £194.5s. in 1803. But it was only during the second and third decades of the nineteenth century that the situation changed at all noticeably. Not until 1825 was it possible for a contemporary art critic to assert that 'the pictures of REYNOLDS, GAINSBOROUGH, WILSON and HOGARTH, now sell at as high prices as the works of "the great masters of the renowned ages"' (pp. 195-97 & nn. 52-58)
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2019-10-30 00:00:00