Ariccia - Fallen Tree

Ariccia - Fallen Tree
Ariccia - Fallen Tree
Ariccia - Fallen Tree
Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Wilts.
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Ariccia - Fallen Tree
c.1754-56 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 48.5 x 74.3 cm
Imperial: 19 1/8 x 28 1/4 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
A tree trunk lies across a stream, with its broken end resting on a large boulder. At its base in shadow is an animal, perhaps a fox. Beyond is woodland suffused with silver light and silhouetted against a cloudy sky.
Birmingham 1948-49 (55 - A Fallen Tree); London 1949 (54); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (75)
Probably bt by Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke (d. 1794); thence by descent
Signed on the trunk of the upright tree: RW [monogram; the R reversed]
Techniques and materials
There is a pink highlight to the cloud upper left and a pentiment in the tree silhouette, upper left.
A detail with variations of the right hand side of P87 Ariccia - II.
Related Drawings
D53/73 Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 73 - Study of a fallen Tree, 1752, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
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Critical commentary
The picture could be by a different hand from P87 but it is very competent and the water is convincingly by Wilson.
Stephen Lloyd has noted that the miniaturist Richard Cosway (1742-1821) had a picture by Wilson of a Fallen Oak in his collection at Schomberg House. His 1791 private contract sale catalogue cites 'A large tree thrown by a storm across a road, and forming an arch, through which is seen a wood and figures.- This was painted at Rome, in Wilson's best time - he has introduced the date of the picture, as if carved on a tree.' (no. 31, p. 39). Apart from the mention of a road and a date, the description seems close to the present work. There is no mention of the picture in the 1820 manuscript inventory of 20 Stratford Place, but Maria Cosway took it to the Girls' School that she founded in Lodi, where it was mentioned in 1833 in a guidebook to the town by Cleto Porro, Guida della regia Citta di Lodi, compilata per uso de' forestieri: 'Collegio di S. Maria delle Grazie - Gran tronco di quercia caduto, bel paesaggio di Wuilson'. (pp. 20-21). The fate of that painting after Maria's death in 1838 is unknown.
G. Richardson, Aedes Pembrochianae, London, 1774, p. 42 (A Landscape) [?]; WGC, p. 194, pl. 68c; S. Pembroke, A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Collection at Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1968, pp. 36-37, cat. 91; Solkin 1982, pp. 191-92; F. Russell, A Catalogue of the Pictures and Drawings at Wilton House, 2021, pp. 118-19, cat. 203
More Information
P61, P87 and P87A together with a pastoral by Francesco Zuccarelli form part of a set of four paintings at Wilton House in identical rococo-style carved and gilded wooden frames. George Richardson in his Aedes Pembrochianae (1774) mentions a 'Landscape by Wilson', which could be any of the first three.
Unglazed. Cleaned, blisters secured and repaired in 1936. Conserved by Simon Foulkes and relined by Richard Watkiss, 2006. Stretcher size recorded by Simon Foulkes: 19 1/8 x 29 1/4 in.; 48.5 x 74.3 cm. Kate Lowry has noted: Quite a flat bit of painting with strong contrasts. Possibly by one of Wilson's pupils using the motif from his master's original composition.
Updated by Compiler
2021-12-15 00:00:00