This view of the River Dee in Cheshire looks upstream to the south-west and the distant hills of Wales. It was painted for Sir Richard Grosvenor, the owner of the nearby Eaton estate. The Welsh artist Wilson had recently returned from Italy (1750-7) where he he began to concentrate on landscape painting. His experiences there enabled him to invest this British scene with a southern feel. The light from the setting sun, the framing tree, and the river curving into the distance echo paintings of the Roman countryside by Claude Lorrain.
Inscriptions / Translations: Signed l.r.: R W
Notes: Exhibited: 'Exhibition of the Society of Artists', 1760, no. 74; British Institution, London, UK 1814, no. 139; 'Manchester Exhibition of the Art Treasures of the United Kingdom', Manchester, UK, 1857, no. 165; 'London International Exhibition', London, UK 1862, no. 104; Wrexham, UK, 1876, no. 266; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK, 1934-6; Hull, 1936; 'Exhibition of Exhibitions', Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, May 1951 - September 1951, 'The Shock of Recognition', Mauritshuis, The Haugue, Netherlands, 24 Nov 1970 - 10 Jan 1971; 'The Shock of Recognition', Tate Gallery, London, UK, 22 Jan 1971 - 28 Feb 1971; 'Richard Wilson', Tate Gallery, London, UK, 3 Nov 1982 - 2 Jan 1983; 'Richard Wilson' Yale Centre for British Art, Connecticut, USA, 20 April 1983 - 19 June 1983; 'Birth of a Collection: Masterpieces from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts', National Gallery, London, UK, 22 May 2013 - 1 Sept 2013