This 18th-century view looks across Greenwich Park towards Greenwich Hospital. It includes people promenading or riding horses through the park. London and the Thames River can be seen in the background. To the right, deer are grazing.
The original painting from which this print was etched was formerly in the collection of John Robartes (1686-1757; later fourth Earl of Radnor). Art collector Robartes lived at Radnor House, by the Thames, near Twickenham. The Government Art Collection includes two paintings by artist Peter Tillemans, which were both formerly in Robartes’ collection: ‘View of Richmond Park from Twickenham Park’ and ‘View of the Thames from Richmond Hill’. Tillemans also painted at least two other works for Robartes, ‘A Prospect of Twickenham’ and this work. It is not clear what happened to the original oil painting of ‘View from One-Tree Hill in Greenwich Park’. It may be the version now in the collection of the Bank of England. A similar view by Tillemans was sold through Phillips, New York, in January 1998.
Peter Tillemans was born in Antwerp; the son of a diamond cutter. He was brought to England by a picture dealer in 1708, where he soon made a name for himself and became a founding member of Godfrey Kneller’s Academy. In 1724 he collaborated with Joseph Goupy on scenery for Haymarket Opera House. He also produced some 500 topographical drawings for historian John Bridges. In the early 1720s he painted horse or racing scenes and views of the Thames. He was a member of the Rose and Crown Club and the Society of the Virtuosi of St Luke. His versatility is demonstrated by the range of work he painted for Dr Cox Macro, including battle scenes, landscapes, hunting scenes and portraits. He died, aged about 50, while staying with Macro in Suffolk.
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