studio of Richard Wilson

Niagara Falls

Not on display

Studio of Richard Wilson 1713–1782
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1003 × 1365 mm
Bequeathed by Richard and Catherine Garnons 1854

Display caption

Possibly from Turner's collection. Wilson's picture of the Falls is in the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and the attribution of this reduced version has been debated between the painter himself, his studio, and Turner, if indeed it belonged to him. The subject would certainly have appealed to him, and it is possible the picture hung at Queen Anne Street.

Gallery label, August 2001

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Catalogue entry

[from] Nos. 545–60: Works Formerly Attributed to Turner

Nos. 545–7a: Richard Wilson (1713 or 1714–1782) or his Studio

547. [N01891] Niagara Falls


Canvas, 39 1/2 × 53 3/4 (100 × 136·5)

Coll. ?Garnons Bequest 1854 or Turner Bequest 1856 (see No. 546 [N01890]); transferred to the Tate gallery 1953.

Lit. Davies 1946, pp. 153, 177; W.G. Constable, Richard Wilson 1953, pp. 95, 130, 230–31, rep. pl. 126c.

For the possible mix-up between pictures from the Garnons Bequest and those from the Turner Bequest see No. 546 [N01890]. In this case Davies was again responsible for the reattribution to Turner and his Bequest, entitling the picture ‘Common with Sandpit (?)’, but Constable and other experts have much more decisively returned it to Wilson or his studio. It is a version of the larger picture now in the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, engraved by William Byrne in 1774 as by Richard Wilson from a drawing made on the spot by Lieutenant William Pierie of the Royal Artillery in 1768.

Published in:
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984


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