The Cock Tavern, Cheam, Surrey

The Cock Tavern, Cheam, Surrey
The Cock Tavern, Cheam, Surrey
The Cock Tavern, Cheam, Surrey
Tate, London 2014
title=Credit line
Ascribed to Wilson
The Cock Tavern, Cheam, Surrey
c.1745 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 43.6 x 74 cm
Imperial: 17 1/8 x 29 1/16 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
The view is probably south towards Banstead Downs, Surrey. Cheam Common opens out beyond it, while in the distance to the right the building is probably Cheam House.
Bequeathed by the Revd Augustus Stopford Brooke, 1916
Unsigned; no inscription
Techniques and materials
Primed and stretched canvas. It has a dark ground. The facture, especially of the tavern, trees and water at the right looks later, perhaps nineteenth-century. The style of paint application is Wilson's but some of the greens appear more modern.
The Cock Tavern was probably the Cock Inn, a well-known country coaching inn on the London to Brighton road, located in Sutton, the neighbouring parish to Cheam. It stood beside an unexceptional area of common land about 12 miles south-west of central London. In 1755 the inn became the Cock Hotel, catering for the newly-constructed London to Brighton turnpike.
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Related Works by Other Artists
Thomas Rowlandson, The Cock Hotel, Sutton, etching and aquatint, 1789
Critical commentary
As Solkin has noted, this was apparently the most popular of Wilson's early landscapes, to judge by the fact that it survives in four versions. Yet prima facie P15 does not look like Wilson. The composition and colour are close to Esias van de Velde's Wooded River Landscape (Sotheby's 14 April 2011 (108)). Certainly the work shows the artist at his most Netherlandish and was probably intended for a new group of middle-class buyers whose taste in landscape tended more towards Dutch-style views than to the grandiose pastorals of the classical tradition.
Fletcher 1908, repr. opp. p. 160; WGC, p, 171, under pl. 30c; Solkin 1982, pp. 31-33, 150; Waites 2012, pp. 55-56, fig. 18.
Link to WG Constable Archive Record
More Information
Described by WGC as 'a smaller version (16 1/4 x 27 1/2 in.)' of P15B in the Tate, London collection. Compared with P15B, this painting omits the table, hollyhocks, sunflowers and figures in the foreground and the figures beyond the water.
Dimensions of frame: 68 x 97 cm. Surface cleaned in frame, July 2005.
Kate Lowry has noted: Original canvas relined. Turnovers lost at the time of lining. Ground is dark in tone. The greens are not convincing as Wilson. The tree near the inn is poorly defined and there is no reserve for the tree against the sky. The water at lower right is glazed and rather blurred.
Updated by Compiler
2020-04-01 00:00:00