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This tranquil view shows a stretch of the Thames seen from the south bank of the river upstream from Richmond. The gable of the Palladian-style villa, Marble Hill House, can be seen peeping through the trees on the right. Wilson’s view is selective: he leaves out the busy river traffic and neighbouring houses.

The fine scenery around Twickenham was an inspiration to artists and poets during the eighteenth century: Alexander Pope and later Joshua Reynolds were amongst those who lived in the area. With its echoes of his beloved Italy, it proved a popular subject for Wilson, who painted several versions of this view.

August 2004