Follower of Richard Wilson RA, Seated Man Portrait - 18th-century chalk drawing

An original 18th-century chalk drawing, Follower of Richard Wilson RA Portrait of a Seated Man.

An intriguing, sensitive drawing, with inscription ‘433 Wilson’ at the lower left corner. Richard Wilson RA (1714-1782) was an influential Welsh landscape painter, who is considered the ’father’ of British landscape painting, and was a major influence on J.M.W. Turner and John Constable.

In this small portrait sketch, the figure’s costume and pose - a turbaned man reading in side view with chair back - are typical of the early to mid-18th century period when Richard Wilson was training as a portrait painter in London at the beginning of his career.

Richard Wilson was born in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire but moved to London in 1729 to train under Thomas Wright. Following his apprenticeship, in 1735 he began producing portraits of Welsh and English sitters - including members of his own family, early patrons such as the Lyttelton family, military officers and even the young Prince of Wales and Duke of York with their tutor, Dr Ayscough.

In 1750 Wilson left London for Rome where he remained until 1757. During the first year or so of his visit to Italy he continued to paint portraits of associates, including his patron, Thomas Hollis and his friend, the Venetian painter, Francesco Zuccarelli.

Drawing was important to Wilson, and his preferred medium was black chalk and stump on a grey paper. He used drawing as an inspiration for his oil paintings, adjusting and reworking his drawings in his final works in oil.

This drawing has been squared up with faint white chalk grid lines, apparently in preparation for transfer to another medium.

In black chalk on buff-grey laid paper.

This is one of a small collection of works after Richard Wilson that we have for sale with the provenance: Covent Garden Gallery.

Inscribed in pencil 433[?] WILSON lower left. Additional catalogue number on verso as shown.
Some minor scattered marks and toning. There are glue and paper remnants on the verso of the paper from historically being laid down.
10cm x 8.3cm.

Richard Wilson RA (1714-1782) is best known as the earliest major British painter to concentrate on landscape. His stay in Italy, 1750 to 1757, was instrumental in developing his landscape style, influenced by the grand classical style of Poussin, Claude and Zuccarelli. On his return to London, Wilson hired several apprentices, including Thomas Jones and Joseph Farington. He continued to paint Italian landscapes, and also took commissions from English and Welsh landowners who wanted views of their estates painted in the Italian style, reminding them of their Grand Tours of Europe. Wilson was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768.

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Product code: JK-912

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