Richard Wilson RA, Landscape with the crater of Vesuvius

Landscape with the crater of Vesuvius, 1756

Richard Wilson RA (1713 - 1782)

RA Collection: Art

A black and white chalk drawing of a landscape with three figures standing on the edge of a smoking crater, almost certainly that of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Wilson travelled in Italy between 1750 and c.1757 and it was during this trip that he decided to become a landscape artist. He stayed in Venice initially but spent the majority of his time in Italy living in Rome, depicting sites associated with the Grand Tour.

This drawing and 03/1877 were previously in the collection of William Lock the Elder of Norbury Park, who met Wilson in Rome in the early 1750s and bought a number of his works. The two drawings were later bought by the collector, William Esdaile whose initials can be seen on the bottom right corner.

This work comes from one of sixteen volumes of Royal Academy Annual Exhibition catalogues that were collected and extra-illustrated by the lawyer and antiquarian Edward Basil Jupp F.S.A. (1812 - 1877). The catalogues span the period from the first annual exhibition in 1769 up to 1875. Jupp added drawings, prints, letters and autographs by, or referring to, Academicians and other exhibitors at the Academy's annual exhibition.

E.B. Jupp was a solicitor who married Eliza Kay, daughter of the architect William Porden Kay. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a clerk of the Carpenters' Company, of which he published a history. Jupp amassed a large collection of paintings by British and Dutch artists, drawings, prints, books and porcelain most of which was sold after his death, at Christie's in February 1878.

Many of the drawings in Jupp's Royal Academy extra-illustrated volumes were bought from art sales during the 1860s. He was also acquainted with a number of contemporary artists and several drawings in the later volumes (along with many of the letters and autographs) were sent from the artists themselves.

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Object details

Landscape with the crater of Vesuvius
Richard Wilson RA (1713 - 1782)
Object type
Black and white chalk on laid paper which has been painted a light brown colour

96 mm x 100 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Leverhulme Trust 1936
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