- Museum number
Boats and trees; three figures in a boat on a stream
- Production date
- 1750-1752 (circa)
Height: 63 millimetres
Width: 83 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Prior to his arrival in Venice in late 1750, Richard Wilson had primarily been a portrait painter, though he had also produced several landscapes, such as ‘Westminster Bridge Under Construction’ (Tate Collection, T03665), that show the influence of the St Martin’s Lane Academy. (Centred around artists such as William Hogarth and Hubert-François Gravelot, and including the young Thomas Gainsborough, St Martin’s Lane was a precursor to the Royal Academy, and allowed artists the opportunity to study both male and female models from life.) Once In Venice, Wilson became friends with the portrait painter turned landscape artist Francesco Zuccarelli, who encouraged the Welshman to concentrate more fully on landscape art. A number of drawings of Venice and its environs exist from this early period, (see for instance 1881,0212.40 or ‘St George’s Garden, Venice’, Private Collection, England, RF57.)
From Venice, Wilson travelled through Italy with his friend and patron William Lock of Norbury and Thomas Jenkins, who later became his dealer. This journey is recorded by a number of sketches made by Wilson en route; the travellers can be traced going through Ferrara, Bologna, Ravenna, Rimini, San Marino, Cattolica, Ancona, Loreto, Foligno, Spolet and Terni, before arriving in Rome late in 1751. The present drawing is a good example of Wilson’s style and medium in this first period of his Italian sojourn. These are executed in black or red chalk on white paper and display very loose handling of line. (See 1881,0212.60 for the change in Wilson’s preferred medium after his arrival in Rome.)
Richard Wilson Online Reference Number: D139
W. G. Constable, Richard Wilson, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1953.
B. Ford, The Drawings of Richard Wilson, Faber & Faber, London, 1951.
B. Ford, ‘Richard Wilson in Rome. I – The Wicklow Wilsons’, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 93, no. 578, May 1951, pp. 157-167.
B. Ford, ‘Richard Wilson in Rome. II – The Claudean Landscapes’, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 94, no. 596, November 1952, pp. 307-313 & 315.
M. Postle & R. Simon, Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2014.
D. Solkin, ‘New Light on the Drawings of Richard Wilson’, in Master Drawings, vol. 16, no. 4, winter 1978, pp. 404-414 & 467-478.
D. Solkin, Richard Wilson, the Landscape of Reaction, Tate Gallery Publications, London, 1982.
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