Friday, February 06, 2009

View of a ruined arch

Kew Gardens: The Pagoda and Bridge by Richard Wilson, 1762

A brief addendum to my last posting - here is Richard Wilson's idealised image of the Pagoda at Kew. He painted other landscapes in the vicinity, including a View of Syon House. In reviewing an exhibition of works from Sir Brinsley Ford's art collection, Charles Fitzroy writes: "one of Sir Brinsley's favourite anecdotes was how Lord Clark used to begin his lecture on the Grand Tour by showing a Wilson view of a ruined arch, describing it as showing the grounds of the Villa Borghese. It was actually a depiction of Kew gardens. The Olympian Lord Clark may not have appreciated the joke, but Sir Brinsley was vastly amused by his mistake, which demonstrated the extent to which an Italianate light permeates Wilson's best work."

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