The Unransomed (The Murder)

The Unransomed (The Murder)
The Unransomed (The Murder)
The Unransomed (The Murder)
Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Unransomed (The Murder)
c.1752-56 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 99.1 x 127 cm
Imperial: 39 x 50 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
A rocky waterfall with bandits and other figures in the foreground; a bandit threatening a half-clothed young woman with a sword as she kneels by a dead body. In the left distance a bridge leads to a rocky hillock at the summit of which stands a ruin.
[?BI 1817 (20 - Storm with Banditti, lent by Sir A. Hume; [?Liverpool Royal Institution 1823 (112 - , lent Winstanley; RA 1906 Old Masters(85); Birmingham 1948-49 (56); London 1949 (55)
Orrock-Linton sale, Christie's 25-27 April 1895 (323 - A Rocky Landscape with a waterfall and banditti in the foreground) bt in; James Orrock, Christie's 4 June 1904 (146) bt Boswell; William Hesketh Lever (1st Baron Leverhulme from 1917), November 1904; transferred from his private collection to the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 1922
Related Drawings
D173 Study for the Murder, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
D322 Landscape with Banditti: The Murder, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Related Prints
E72/32 Thomas Hastings after Wilson, The Murder, The British Museum and other impressions
See 'Links' tab
Related Paintings
P163 Meleager and Atalanta, Tate, London
Critical commentary
Of the different versions, this one is most similar in theme and various details to P50A The Murder (Private Collection, England) but larger and with differences in the figures and settings. Together the pictures may represent a third stage in the design for P163 Meleager and Atalanta, Tate, London.
Previous Cat/Ref Nos
Waterhouse 1953, p. 176; WGC, pp. 91, 158, pl. 14b; A. Kidson, Earlier British Paintings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums & Galleries, Merseyside, 1999, pp. 180-82
Link to WG Constable Archive Record
Kate Lowry has noted: Gilt compo frame, low reflective glass. Viewed in frame on display. Oil on canvas, relined. Not signed or dated. Possibly a dark coloured ground. Generally a rather poor quality of painting in the rocks above the cascade, and harsh thunderclouds with mountains and lightning at centre left. Figures are quite dramatically painted. Drying cracks throughout especially in left hand tree trunks. Poor condition and very dark in tone. Central figures are close to those in P50.
Updated by Compiler
2020-05-01 00:00:00