Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse

Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse
Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse
Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse
Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Wilts. / The Bridgeman Art Library
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782) and Studio
Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse
c.1758-60 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 102.5 x 148.8 cm
Imperial: 40 3/8 x 58 9/16 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
In the middle distance the Palladian Bridge, built by the 9th Earl of Pembroke, crosses the River Nadder from which an avenue of trees leads towards the Casina at the bottom of Temple Copse. In the far right distance is Salisbury Cathedral; to the left is North Hill. A seated woman, a child and a dog are seen below a large tree in the centre foreground and in front of them stands an estate worker with a shovel and a jug. There are reclining figures in the near distance and deer graze in the park. On the summit of North Hill an encampment of tents with redcoats may be seen - perhaps an allusion to the Seven Years' War (1756-63) in which Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke was to serve from early 1760 with his regiment in Germany as Major-General in command of the Cavalry Brigade.
[?] BI 1814 (172/176, 194/198 or 196/200, as View at Wilton/View of Wilton House); Birmingham 1948-49 (52); London 1949 (51)
Painted for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke; thence by descent
Said to be signed 'R.W.' [monogram, the R reversed] on tree, right but signature no longer visible in 2011.
Techniques and materials
A hand other than Wilson's evidently finished the man standing and the large tree, left. The middle ground is thinly painted in parts. The sky is drawn down to the horizon, as was usual for Wilson.
The Casino, designed by Sir William Chambers, had been begun by May 1757 and was probably finished by late 1758.
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Related Paintings
P73 Bourne Park, Kent, Private Collection, England
Critical commentary
The present work and the four others featuring Wilton (P76, P77, P78 and P79) were commissioned for Pembroke House in Whitehall Gardens, where they hung with four views of the Earl's other seat, Westcombe, by George Lambert. The entire set is not likely to be later than 1760, when Lord Pembroke left Britain for two years of military service on the Continent, and the present painting is likely to be at least partly studio work. John Harris has remarked that the set belong to the 'gardenscape' tradition, with the house itself never shown in full but relegated to a secondary role. The composition of P80 is closely related to that of P73 Bourne Park, Kent, Private Collection, England. The underlying theme seems to be one of well-ordered leisure and tranquillity.
[?] Catalogue 1814, p. 21; N.R. Wilkinson, Wilton House Pictures, 1907, vol. 2, pp. 362-63, cat. 177, as School of Wilson; Waterhouse 1953, p. 177; WGC, pp. 87-8S, 189, pl. 60a; S. Pembroke, A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Collection at Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1968, p. 36, cat. 87; J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, London 1979, p. 276, pl. 298a; F. Russell, A Catalogue of the Pictures and Drawings at Wilton House, 2021, p. 120, cat. 207; J.M. Robinson, Wilton House, 2021, pp. 163-67.
Link to WG Constable Archive Record
Location featured in work
Wilton House, Wilton, Wiltshire, England.
More Information
N.R. Wilkinson states that a camp on the North Hill in the distance was visited by King George III in 1778 (see Bibliography) but it is likely that there were earlier camps there, especially in time of war.
Unglazed. Cleaned in 1935. Conserved by Simon Foulkes and relined by Richard Watkiss in 2006. Kate Lowry has noted: Stretcher size recorded by Simon Foulkes: 40 3/8 x 58 9/16 in. (not 44 ins as recorded in Constable); 102.5 x 148.8 cm. In gilt frame with egg and dart pattern matching that of P76 Wilton House from the South East. Oil on canvas. Sky is quite finished and solidly painted compared to the landscape which is quite thinly painted over a warm brown underpaint. House and grounds are also thinly painted. Tree at left is based on the one in P76B Wilton House from the South East although painted with more contrast than Wilson's usual style.
Updated by Compiler
2021-12-31 00:00:00