N04765 View of Chelsea College with Ranelagh House and the Rotunda after 1751
Oil on canvas 337×898 (13 1/4×35 3/8)
Presented by the Hon. Mrs Phillimore to the National Gallery 1934; transferred to the Tate Gallery 1948
PROVENANCE ...; Hon. Mrs Phillimore by 1934
Pair to N04764. This view of Chelsea College (now called The Royal Hospital, Chelsea) reveals direct knowledge of at least part of Canaletto's ‘View of Chelsea College with Ranelagh House and the Rotunda’, which at some stage was divided into two parts, and was apparently not engraved. Canaletto's picture is discussed and the original composition illustrated by J.G. Links in his revised edition of W.G. Constable, Canaletto, 1976, I, pp.407–8, no.413, II, pl.75, and by James L. Howgego, ‘A Recent Canaletto Discovery’, Guildhall Miscellany, VII, 1956, pp.21–9, pl.5.
Canaletto exhibited his picture to the public at his lodgings in Golden Square for fifteen days from 31 July 1751 (Links, 1, p.408). Links suggests (p.407) that its division into two parts ‘was made fairly soon after the picture was painted’ (and certainly by 1802, when the right-hand part was sold independently); and he suggests (in correspondence) that the Tate Gallery picture ‘was painted by someone who had seen the right side of Canaletto's view and knew of the existence of the left although he had not seen it’.
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988