- Museum number
Ruin and figures; a mass of ruin overgrown with trees r, two monks, one standing and one seated near the ruin, part of another ruin at left
Black and white chalk, on buff paper
- Production date
- 1752-1756 (circa)
Height: 163 millimetres
Width: 213 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- William Constable pointed out that Richard Wilson’s paintings usually differ markedly from the earlier drawings to which they are related. There is rarely a neat progression from the sketch from nature, to the studio drawing, to the final painting. It is likely that Wilson worked directly from sketches onto the canvas; the existence of oil paint marks on some of his sketches bears witness to this theory (Constable, pp. 110-111). Often drawings that may appear to be studies for paintings are more likely to be simple exercises in composition. As with Wilson’s studies of natural or architectural fragments, these allowed him to build up a mental bank of images and thus dispense in many cases with detailed working drawings, (see also the curator’s comment for 1881,0212.44).
However, the present drawing is a rare exception to this pattern. We can trace a development from this relatively loose plein air sketch to a more clearly delineated version in the V&A (DYCE.645). From here we see a progression to an oil sketch in the Bristol City Art Gallery (BAG 714722). Unfortunately, the ‘most complete’ version of the painting, which was at one point in the collection of Brinsley Ford, went missing and is now only known through the 1821 etching by Thomas Hastings, which dates the ‘final’ painting to 1771 (see 1854,0708.91).
‘Richard Wilson Online’ reference number: D361
W. G. Constable, Richard Wilson, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1953.
B. Ford, The Drawings of Richard Wilson, Faber & Faber, London, 1951.
The curator’s comments on the drawings of Richard Wilson were written by Olivia Ghosh, Anne Christopherson Fellow in the Department of Prints and Drawings, August 2017.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number