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Richard Wilson, Holt Bridge on the River Dee

Key facts
Full title Holt Bridge on the River Dee
Artist Richard Wilson
Artist dates 1713/14 - 1782
Date made before 1762
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 148.5 × 193 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1953
Inventory number NG6196
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Holt Bridge on the River Dee
Richard Wilson

The view is of Holt Bridge, spanning the River Dee, at the point where the river serves as a border between Wales and England. It was painted as a pair with The Valley of the Dee with Chester in the Distance, also in the National Gallery. They are landscapes painted in the spirit of the French neoclassical landscape painter, Claude, who depicted views of the countryside outside Rome, rather than accurate depictions of real views in Cheshire. The village of Holt can be seen on the left and the tower of Farndon church on the right, but the foreground and hills have been changed to make them appear more picturesque and dramatic.

A young man plays a flute, while a reclining woman shades her eyes and gazes up towards the sun; the youth beside her looks in the same direction. The head of another man appears behind them over the brow of the hill.

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