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View of Richmond from Twickenham Park

Peter Tillemans

View of Richmond from Twickenham Park


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ArtistPeter Tillemans (1684-1734)
TitleView of Richmond from Twickenham Park
Datec.1720
MediumOil on canvas
ProvenanceCommissioned by John Robartes, 4th Earl of Radnor (1686-1757) of Radnor House, Twickenham; with Leggatt Bros.; by whom sold through Christie’s, London, on 16 February 1953 (Lot 137), for £137.42; from which sale purchased by Appleby Bros.; with Spink and Son; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in December 1954
Exhibition'Richard Wilson's Early Contemporaries' (which supplemented 'Richard Wilson: The Landscape of Reaction'), Tate Gallery, London 3 November 1982 to 2 January 1983, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 29 January to 20 March 1983, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 20 April to 19 June 1983, (catalogue number 1)
Dimensionsheight: 82.00 cm, width: 154.00 cm
AcquisitionPurchased from Spink & Son, December 1954
LocationChina, Hong Kong, British Consulate-General
GAC number3086
 

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This early 18th-century view of Richmond from Twickenham Park was painted from roughly where the rail bridge crosses the Thames today, a stretch of the river which has long been used as a crossing point. A small boat, ferrying people across the river, can be seen in the painting. Cattle and sheep roam in the foreground, while a loyal dog stays by the sleeping cowherd (or shepherd).

This work was commissioned by art collector John Robartes (1686-1757; later fourth Earl of Radnor), who lived at Radnor House, by the Thames, near Twickenham. The painting may represent a view from the grounds of his house. An engraving of the painting, made by printmaker Peter Paul Benazech (1728-1798) while the work was in Robartes’ possession, was published in 1755. Tillemans painted at least three other works for Robartes, including ‘The View from One-Tree Hill in Greenwich Park’, ‘A Prospect of Twickenham’ and a ‘View of the Thames from Richmond Hill’ (now also in the Government Art Collection; see GAC 3547).

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Peter Tillemans

Peter Tillemans was born in Antwerp; the son of a diamond cutter. He was brought to England by a picture dealer in 1708, where he soon made a name for himself and became a founding member of Godfrey Kneller’s Academy. In 1724 he collaborated with Joseph Goupy on scenery for Haymarket Opera House. He also produced some 500 topographical drawings for historian John Bridges. In the early 1720s he painted horse or racing scenes and views of the Thames. He was a member of the Rose and Crown Club and the Society of the Virtuosi of St Luke. His versatility is demonstrated by the range of work he painted for Dr Cox Macro, including battle scenes, landscapes, hunting scenes and portraits. He died, aged about 50, while staying with Macro in Suffolk.