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A River Scene with a Castle and Figures

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A River Scene with a Castle and Figures About 1755

Not on display

Four figures in the foreground relax before a peaceful vista of a river, and a dynamic backdrop of a castle on a high, craggy wooded cliff. Here Wilson used a composition similar to that found in many of his views, combining topographical detail, often studied in North Wales and Cheshire, with some artistic licence. This imaginative scene is framed on the left by graceful tree trunks, which punctuate the sky. The delicate light, conveyed through soft colouring, is reflected in the river and enhances the sense of space.

Glossary Open

Artistic licence

The freedom of artists to detour from representational ‘truth’ for artistic reasons.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


Refers to landscape pictures that faithfully represent a real place as it is seen rather than an imaginary or distorted landscape.


A view of a landscape, particularly one framed by objects such as trees.

Artistic licence, Composition, Topographical , Vista


  • Acc. No. NG 620
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 85.10 x 127.00 cm (framed: 129.00 x 171.50 x 18.50 cm)
  • Credit Bequest of Mrs Mary Veitch to the RSA 1875; transferred and presented 1910