This view of Windsor Castle from across the River Thames may include a depiction of the artist himself; in the foreground a man in a white wig sits by the side of the road and sketches. With him are two gentlemen in three-cornered hats. One dressed in blue and on horseback, pointing up the river; another, wearing red is on foot.
This painting is considered to be the work of marine artist Samuel Scott. However, it is not clear whether Scott ever painted Windsor Castle. A short ‘Catalogue of the Works of Samuel Scott’, published in 1980, does not include any works relating to Windsor. But there is another view of the Castle, which was once attributed to Scott. A 1949 catalogue of the ‘Windsor Collection formed by the Lord Fairhaven [of] Anglesey Abbey’ describes a Scott painting of ‘Windsor Castle, home of Queen Anne’, which remains in the property today. It has been reattributed to ‘British (English) School’ and there are many differences between the two works but the Anglesey painting is similarly framed by trees and includes two figures in three cornered hats, one dressed in blue and the other in red. Perhaps both are by Scott, one of many British artists whose career has yet to be researched in depth.
Samuel Scott, marine and topographical painter, was born in London in c.1702. His early subjects were marine scenes and naval engagements, painted in the style of the van de Veldes. However, following Antonio Canaletto's visit to the capital in 1746, Scott was influenced by the growing popularity of the Venetian artist's views of London and the Thames and devoted himself almost exclusively to this subject. Scott's London views became particularly popular. Unlike other imitators of Canaletto, he avoided the Venetian artist's permanent Venetian blue skies. He settled in the fashionable writers' and artists' village of Twickenham but later moved to Bath, where he died.
Collection of W. J. Abraham; by whom sold through Christie’s, London, ‘Old Pictures: The Property of the Rev. W. Ripley of The Parsonage, Bentley and Old Pictures & Drawings from Various Sources’ sale, on 30 November 1917 (Lot 97), for £25.4.0 (24 guineas); from which sale purchased by Countess Mary Wistar Pappenheim (born 1872; née Wheeler) of The Cottage, Knipton, Leicestershire; with Leggatt Bros.; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in March 1959
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