View full screen - View 1 of Lot 46. An Italian river scene, with the Temple of Clitumnus and ruins, two figures and cows.
46

Richard Wilson, R.A.

An Italian river scene, with the Temple of Clitumnus and ruins, two figures and cows

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Richard Wilson, R.A.

Richard Wilson, R.A.

An Italian river scene, with the Temple of Clitumnus and ruins, two figures and cows

An Italian river scene, with the Temple of Clitumnus and ruins, two figures and cows

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Lot sold:

52,920

USD

Richard Wilson, R.A.

Penegoes, Powys 1713/14 - 1782 Colomendy, Clwyd

An Italian river scene, with the Temple of Clitumnus and ruins, two figures and cows


oil on canvas

canvas: 19 1/4 by 29 in.; 48.9 by 73.7 cm.

framed: 28 by 38 1/4 in.; 71.1 by 97.2 cm.

To request this condition report please contact alison.macqueen@sothebys.com



Probably James Paine;
Probably his sale, London, Christie's, 14 June 1814, lot 82;
Mr. Gray, Leadenhall Street, London;
John Hawkins (circa 1758-1814), Bignor Park, Sussex;
By descent to his son Christopher Henry Thomas Hawkins, 10 Portland Place, London;
By whose estate sold, London, Christie's, 11 May 1896, lot 27 (£20 to McLean);
Acquired shortly thereafter by T.W. Bacon (collection no. 115);
By whose descendants offered, London, Sotheby's, 14 June 2001, lot 8 (where unsold);
With Ben Elwes Fine Art, London;
From whom acquired by Richard L. Feigen in 2005. 
W.G. Constable, Richard Wilson, Cambridge, MA 1953, pp. 82, 109, 197, reproduced plate 75b;
D. Marignoli, "Richard Wilson e il Tempietto Clitunno," Spoletium, 48, no. 4, 2011, pp. 106-113;
P. Spencer-Longhurst, et al., Richard Wilson: Online Catalogue Raisonné, cat. no. P65B, accessed 20 July 2021.
Possibly London, The Society of Artists, 1761, no. 136;
London, British Institution, 1824, no. 176;
London, British Institution, 1844, no. 164;
Leeds, National Exhibition of Works of Art at Leeds, 1868, no. 1189;
Birmingham, Museum and Art Gallery; London, National Gallery, Richard Wilson and his Circle, 17 November 1948 - 9 January 1949, no. 4 (no. 3 in London);
New York, Richard L. Feigen & Co., 2010, no. 5.

This classical landscape is the prime version of this composition and was exhibited alongside a companion piece depicting the Bridge at Rimini  at the London Society of Artists in 1761. Wilson apparently catalogued the two paintings himself, and his words were reproduced in the 1814 Christie’s sale catalogue when they were offered together:


“Of these pictures the one is scenery taken from the long-famed Clitumnus, near the once mystic temple of Juno which I have herein restored from its state in ruins, as seen near the source gently cascading into the streamlet, from whence flows that classic river. The period of time described produces the effects of those lights etc. which succeeds the dawn of day, interspersed with the vapours and subdued tints that accompany the morning atmosphere…”


The Temple of Clitumnus is located near Spoleto in Umbria, next to the spring from which the river Clitumnus or Clitunno flowed and was dedicated to the god of the same name. In the 4th century CE the temple was converted into a Christian church. Constable (see Literature) dates this painting to 1754, during Wilson’s time in Rome at the beginning of a 5-year sojourn to Italy, and a time in which he was particularly influenced by the landscapes of Claude Lorrain.


John Hawkins rebuilt Bignor Park in the late 1820s and there he amassed an art collection with works by Canaletto, Dobson, Guercino, Hogarth, Hone, and at least five paintings by Wilson, including the present lot.