Richard Wilson

Composition, View of a Town with Trees

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Richard Wilson 1713–1782
Chalk and watercolour on paper
Support: 121 × 161 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

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Wilson frequently drew in black chalk on tinted paper. He also made extensive use of stump, a small cylinder of soft chamois leather or paper used for smudging chalk, charcoal or pencil. The mid-tones in Wilson's drawings were created by his use of a pre-prepared paper coated with grey washes. In this work he first applied the chalk quite broadly, later smudging with a stump. Fine black chalk outlines have been added over the stump work to define and strengthen the form. Subtle white highlights added in the sky provide further atmospheric effects.

Gallery label, August 2004

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