Wilson Online Reference
Whitley 1800-1820
William Thomas Whitley
Art in England 1800-1820
Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication
Secondary published
More Information
The sequel to Whitley 1700-1799. 345 pp. & 16 monochrome pls. Wilson is mentioned on pp. 21, 27, 39, 44, 47, 111, 152, 182, 183, 190, 208, 226-229, 277, 296.
Full Text
Noteworthy extracts from the text: It is known that James Newman supplied Richard Wilson with colours and brushes. [p.27] [...] No fewer than seventy of [Wilson's] sketches and studies were in [Paul] Sandby's possession at the time of his death and were included in the sale of his collections, two years afterwards. Some of them must have been very interesting, as for example No. 80 in the catalogue, "A drawing: the effect of a storm. It was from this sketch Mr Wilson took the idea of painting his celebrated picture the Niobe. [D369?]" [p. 152] [...] Turner [in his sixth lecture at the Royal Academy] asked the artists and students to contrast Gainsborough's simplicity of nature unadorned, with the meretriciousness of Zuccarelli , who had all the gay material of Watteau with none of his grace and charm: 'his figures tho' sometimes beautiful but placed with inconsistency anywhere and anyhow, and yet they defrauded the immortal Wilson of his rights and snatched the laurel from his aged brow. In vain did his pictures of Niobe in the possession of Sir George Beaumont [P90B] and the Duke of Gloucester [P90] flash conviction, or Ceyx and Alcyone ... [P157].' [p. 183] [...] Letter from Wilkie to Perry Nursey dated May 9th 1814 re BI 1814: [...] but what surprised me was that Wilson does not in comparison with the others [Hogarth, Gainsborough & Zoffany] support the reputation that has hitherto been allowed him. His pictures seem to want variety, and seem to have a rather flat and common appearance. [...] I wish you could come to see whether Wilson's pictures, which you have studied, make the same impression upon you as they did upon me. [pp. 228-29] [...] Extracts from Hazlitt's criticism of Wilson's trees etc. are cited. [see in detail Hazlitt 1843-44]. [p. 229] [...] After [Julius Caesar] Ibbetson's death an artist who had known him recalled in the Literary Gazette his extraordinary versatility [...] and how readily he could produce forgeries of Berchem, Richard Wilson and others. He loathed the work, but as he was poor and in debt he remained long in the power of his unscrupulous employers. [...] [p. 277]