Wilson Online Reference
Wilson 1751
Richard Wilson
Letter to Admiral Smith
Primary published
More Information
Letter quoted in Whitley 1700-1799 (vol. 1, pp. 387-88) discovered by the Hon. Mrs Hugh Wyndham in the archives of the Lyttelton family and published in 1924 in her Chronicles of the Eighteenth Century. The letter was sold at Sotheby's London, 12 December 1978 (78).
Full Text
Venice, July 8th, 1751. Hon'd Sir, I have by me a letter that I did myself the honour to write to Admiral Smith above four months agoe [sic], which I deferred sending until I had something more worth your reading to inform you of; which has been deferred from one post to another that I really grew ashamed of writing to him that had the greatest title to my gratitude of any man breathing. I came to Venice about eight months ago, where I met with the encouragement I mentioned in my letter to Dr. Ayscough, and here I have studied Titian as much as ever I could, which I hope to show you the effects of in my future productions. I am doing a portrait for the German ambassador among other things. What tells better for my private satisfaction is that Signor Zuccarelli, a famous painter of this place, made me an offer of his painting me a picture for a portrait of himself; which I am doing with great pleasure. I have great reason to condole the great loss we have lately sustained; but there is the same God though not the same Prince, who will protect you and my good friend from the vicissitudes of this life. I can give you very little news from hence. We have had a very poor show here at the Ascension, the Prince being ill at the time of his wedding. The company here is my Lord Poulteney, Sir Matt: Featherstone, Sir William Lowther and Mr. Aldridge. Mr. Smith (blessed be the name) our Consul here, is exceedingly kind to me; he is a very great Virtuoso. Among other things he has got me the painting of Mr. Sackville, which he is to send to my Lord Middlesex; which I hope will do me much honour. Good Admiral, I never write to you without asking some favour of you; the business of this is to let Mr. Travers send me a good account of your health and happiness, which I shall look at with more pleasure than the first picture of Michael Angelo could give to your ever obliged humble servant, RICHD. WILSON