Old Masters Day Sale

Old Masters Day Sale

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 199. A view over Villa Madama, Rome, and surrounding countryside.

Private collection, Ireland

Richard Wilson, R.A.

A view over Villa Madama, Rome, and surrounding countryside

Lot Closed

December 5, 03:31 PM GMT


30,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details


Private collection, Ireland

Richard Wilson, R.A.

Penegoes, Powys 1713/14 - 1782 Colomendy, Clwyd

A view over Villa Madama, Rome, and surrounding countryside

unframed: 73.2 x 99.4 cm.; 28 7/8 x 39 1/8 in.

framed: 107.1 x 132.3 cm.; 42 1/2 x 52 1/8 in.

Thomas Townend (1796-1880), Syndale Park, Faversham;

By whose Executors sold, London, Christie's, 23 July 1887, lot 130 (as R. Wilson), where acquired by

Charles Wheler Wheler (1834-99), Otterden Place, Kent and Ledston Hall, Yorkshire;

Thence by descent until acquired by the present owner.

A very similar view is depicted by Wilson in a painting now at the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven.1 Another version of this composition, less likely to be by Wilson himself, is at Penrhyn Castle.Otterden Place, the residence of Charles Wheler Wheler, was owned in the 18th century by Stephen Beckingham (1697-1756), a Grand Tourist in Rome who had commissioned four landscapes from Richard Wilson. Wheler Wheler may have bought this painting at auction in 1887 not only as an heirloom from his wife's family (his wife Elizabeth Townend Hall was related to Thomas Townend), but also to reunite it with the house where four works by Wilson had previously hung.

The Italian villa we see here is based on the Villa Madama, built by Pope Clement VII from designs by Raphael. While Wilson’s later landscapes would show a more sensitive grasp of naturalistic detail and a more ambitious range of motifs and emotive effects, the Roman views he painted during his stay in the city are unmatched in their cool light and sense of timeless tranquility. 

The present painting is included in 'Richard Wilson Online', the online catalogue raisonné of the works of Richard Wilson by Paul Spencer-Longhurst, ref. no. P206.3