Sir William Pilkington

View Of The Tiber To The Left Of Rome

Sir William Pilkington

View Of The Tiber To The Left Of Rome

This early 19th-century watercolour by British aristocrat Sir William Pilkington (1755-1850) depicts a picturesque view of the Tiber as seen from Monte Mario, the highest hill in Rome. It’s an idyllic sketch, probably completed during his Grand Tour.

Sir William Pilkington, 8th Baronet, was a keen amateur artist and a generous patron of the arts. He’s particularly known for his close association with JMW Turner (1775-1851) with whom he placed various commissions. In one of these, a hunting scene at Otley Chevin in West Yorkshire, Turner included him as the main figure. The original is currently in the Wallace Collection.

Pilkington was also a keen student of the techniques of others and mentioned in literature for his broad knowledge of Richard Wilson (1714-1782). It’s possible that he took lessons with Joseph Farington RA (1747-1821), one of Wilson’s pupils.

An obituary in the Art Journal (1850) described his acute mind. “Sir William had travelled much, with an observant eye and with most persevering research into all matters connected with the arts he loved. Those who were intimately acquainted with him will never forget his varied information, his intimate knowledge of the progress of Art during the last half century, and his happy elucidation of it by references to his own original sketches and his illustrated library of rare productions.”

Inscribed in the upper left, framed and glazed.

Learn more about Sir William Pilkington in our directory.

Medium: Pencil drawing with watercolour
Overall size: 17” x 14½” / 43cm x 37cm
Year of creation: c. 1800
Labels & Inscriptions: Inscribed with title in the top left. Notes from Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, attached to reverse.
Provenance: Thomas Agnew & Sons, London / Private collection, England.
Condition: Assessed and approved by our conservator. Minor discolouration and light speckling.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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