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The North Terrace of Windsor Castle with Eton College in the Distance

Attributed to:
Marlow, William (b.1740, d.1813)
Date:
c 1780
dated from related works
Place of production:
London, England, United Kingdom
Medium:
oil on canvas
Type of object:
paintings
Accession number:
788

Commentary

William Marlow made similar views of London and other parts of Britain in oils and watercolours throughout his career. The costume of the figures in this painting dates from the 1740s and may have been intended to pay homage to an earlier work by Canaletto (1697-1768). It has been suggested that the the Waddesdon picture may be a derivation from a lost original by Canaletto.

In the mid 1760s, Marlow had travelled in France and Italy. He admired the work of Canaletto and sometimes included details that are reminiscent of the earlier artist's work. Canaletto may have painted a view of this scene in 1747, now lost. We know he did paint a different view of Windsor from the North in 1747 (now Duke of Northumberland). The Italian artist may have produced the pattern for the North Terrace views so successfully repeated by other artists such as Paul Sandby (1725-1809). Sandy and his brother Thomas seem to have been particularly influenced by Canaletto in their Windsor views.

The dating of the costume, along with the apparent similarities with other works including by Sandby and by an artist who signed himself C P in a work dated 1782 (Broughton Castle), has led some scholars to question the attribution of Marlow. It has been suggested that the work is by Cordall Powell (active 1768-88), honorary exhibitor at both the Society of Artists and the Royal Academy, however the work is close to several others by Marlow. Marlow produced similar views of London around 1780 as Sandby, for example, his 'The Thames at Richmond', Government Art Collection. He exhibited at the Incorporated Society of Artists from 1767 and at the Royal Academy from 1788. He was never a member of the Royal Academy, but he was made Vice-President of the Society of Artists in 1778.

Paul Sandby did paint very similar compositions many times throughout his career, but none quite the same as this. In his views of Windsor, Sandby tended to include burlesque or low-life figures, which is not a feature of this painting. Sandby exhibited several views of Windsor in 1766, 1774 and 1802. A bodycolour painting now at the Yale Centre for British Art, probably related to the 1766 painting, is similar to the Waddesdon painting but the viewpoint is different. In the Waddesdon picture, more of the façade is included and the view is taken from higher up, giving a clearer view of the town of Windsor and Eton Chapel beyond. Similar differences also occur between the Waddesdon painting and a watercolour in the Royal Collection by Sandby.

Sandby did not exhibit any views of the North Terrace during the 1780s. Marlow and other artists, such as the painter of the work at Broughton Castle, may have taken advantage of this lull in Sandby's interest to produce similar views that must have proved popular with patrons at the time.

Phillippa Plock, 2012

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
615 x 928
590 x 897 - sight
Signature & date:
not signed or dated
Labels:
Grasse
Label
on verso on frame

E. Rothschild
Label
on verso, oval Chenue label

History

Provenance:
Acquired by Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922) for her villa in Grasse; inherited by her cousin Baron Edmond de Rothschild (b.1845, d.1934); by descent to his son Mr James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); inherited by his wife Dorothy de Rothschild (b.1895, d.1988); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1988.
Collection:
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild, 1988

Indexed terms