The River Dee near Eaton Hall (View of the River Dee, near Eaton…

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The River Dee near Eaton Hall (View of the River Dee, near Eaton…
The River Dee near Eaton Hall (View of the River Dee, near Eaton…
The River Dee near Eaton Hall (View of the River Dee, near Eaton…
Tyntesfield, National Trust
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The River Dee near Eaton Hall (View of the River Dee, near Eaton Hall, Cheshire)
c.1760 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 61 x 73.7 cm
Imperial: 24 x 29 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
The view is from east of Eaton Hall, near Eccleston, Cheshire. The river extends from the left foreground to the centre middle distance and is bordered on both sides by trees and bushes. At a bend in the middle distance, there is a cottage and in a field to the left, cows are grazing. A tree in the right foreground extends its branches halfway across the picture and below it are a fisherman, who has just caught a fish, and his female companion. By the opposite bank are a pair of swans. Distant hills are seen on the left and the sky is yellow-pink with the sunset. The direction seems to be downstream, towards the north-west, Chester and the distant hills of Wales. The mood is one of evening.
David Garrick (as A Landscape with View of the Tiber, with figures on a bank in the front ground, angling); Mrs David Garrick, Eva Marie Violetti (1724-1822), Adelphi Terrace and Hampton; her sale, Christie's 23 June 1823 (61 - A Landscape, View on the Tiber, with Figures on a Bank in the front ground, angling. A warm Evening Sun, intercepted by a Mass of Wood on the right, diffuses a rich glow of colour, with beautiful effect), bt Lambton for £89.5.0 (85 guineas) or £87.3.0 (83 guineas); by descent to John Lambton, 5th Earl of Durham, Lambton Castle; sold by Anderson and Garland, 18 April 1932 (79 - View on the Tiber); Sotheby Parke Bernet, London 17 March 1982 (66 - Anglers by the River Dee); Good Golly Products, sold by order of the provisional liquidator, Christie's, 18 November 1983 (76), bt Richard, 2nd Lord Wraxall (1928-2001); bt by the National Trust from the estate of Lord Wraxall with the assistance of the NHMF, NACF and donations from members and supporters, 2002
Unsigned; no inscription
The artist's home territory on the Welsh-English border provides the backdrop to an evening courtship scene, its gently amorous mood reflected by the two swans in the river, at the lower left. The composition appears to be the first depiction of 'public' British scenery, as opposed to private estates, executed after Wilson's return from Italy. Writers from Elizabethan times, including Spenser and Milton, referred to an ancient tradition ascribing divine qualities to the Dee, prophetic for the fortunes of England and Wales, lying either side of it. Eaton Hall was the ancestral seat of Sir Richard, later 1st Earl Grosvenor and in a modern form is currently that of his descendant, the 7th Duke of Westminster.
Related Drawings
D354 The Banks of the River Dee near Eaton Hall Cheshire, Art Institute of Chicago, Leonora Hall Gurley Collection
Related Prints
E25 Thomas Morris after Wilson, The Banks of the River Dee near Eaton, Cheshire, The British Museum & other impressions
E71/1 John Young after Wilson, View on the River Dee, near Eaton Hall, The British Museum
See 'Links' tab
Related Paintings
P111 The Valley of the Dee with Chester in the Distance, The National Gallery, London
Critical commentary
Of the surviving versions of this subject the present one is closest to P86G (Private Collection, England) in composition and dimensions. The focus is a scene of gentle dalliance between the man and woman in the foreground, whose meaning is intensified by the symbolism of the fish and the exposed back of the woman. The present work is one of several versions with anglers in the foreground.
WGC, p. 174, pl. 34a, b, c II (5)
Dimensions of frame: 85.2 x 98.2 cm. Kate Lowry has noted: Although a specific reserve around the foliage masses against the sky was not observable, this could be because this is a small scale composition. The grey tone of the ground appears between the tree trunks and foliage at right hand side with a thin brown glaze over. Effective orange pink sky gives the evening effect. Figures in foreground may be intended as a courting couple, with the man fishing.
Updated by Compiler
2022-01-18 00:00:00