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Paul Sandby RA, 1731–1809, British

North West View of Wakefield Lodge in Whittlebury Forest, Northamptonshire

Former Title(s):

View of Wakefield Lodge in Whittlebury Forest, Northamptonshire

Additional Title(s):

North East View of Wakefield Lodge...

Watercolor with pen and gray ink and touches of gold paint over graphite on medium, slightly textured laid paper laid down on thick, cream, moderately textured wove paper mount
Sheet: 16 3/4 x 33 1/4 inches (42.5 x 84.5 cm) and Mount: 19 7/8 x 36 inches (50.5 x 91.4 cm)

Inscribed in gold paint, on mount, lower center: "North West View of WAKEFIELD LODGE in Whittlebury Forest"

Signed and dated in gold paint, lower left: "P. Sandby 1767"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
boat | carriage | cattle | cattle | clouds | figures | forest | landscape | men | north | river | sailboat | sky | trees | west | women
Associated Places:
Europe | Northamptonshire | United Kingdom | Whittlebury
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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Located in Whittlebury Forest, Wakefield Lodge was an imposing hunting lodge designed by William Kent for the 2nd Duke of Grafton. Its completion was overseen by the 3rd Duke of Grafton (short-lived prime minister from 14 October 1768 to 28 January 1770), who continuously increased the size of the estate. Having been trained as a topographer, Sandby felt particularly at ease with estate portraiture. He chose to depict Wakefield lodge from a distance rather than at close range, thereby displaying the property in its wider setting. As is often the case in Sandby’s oeuvre, the artist peppered his composition with references to estate life. The grazing horses remind the viewer that the majestic 250-acre park was host to the Wakefield Lawn Races, while the wary herd of stags is evocative of the Grafton Hunt. Sandby’s artistic aspirations never prevented him from adding a touch of lightness: one cannot help noticing a raggedy couple surreptitiously bundling wood and hiding behind a tree as a phaeton approaches, making this an exquisite scene of rustic burlesque. Although not as frequently depicted by Sandby as Windsor views, Wakefield Lodge was the subject of some repetitions as well. The present work was one of two Wakefields exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1767. Sandby also produced two watercolors from different viewpoints that were later engraved by M.A. Rooker for “A Collection of Landscapes”, published in London in 1777. Other versions of the lodge were made the next year for the “Copperplate Magazine”, to which Sandby contributed many designs. These endeavors are telling of the artist's condition: by hanging his work on the walls of the Society of Artists, Sandby most likely hoped to attract private and wealthy patrons wishing to have their own estates depicted in a similar fashion; by providing designs to publishers, he could make a decent living while courting a larger public.

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 256, no. 33, pl. 33, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 271, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +]

Country houses in Great Britain., Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1979, pp. 74-75, no. 61, N6764 Y34 1979 (YCBA)

Lady Lever Art Gallery, British watercolours and drawings, Lord Leverhulme's collection in the Lady Lever Art Gallery , Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2010, p.169, fn 937, N1455 A85 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Angeliki Lymberopoulou, Art & visual culture, a reader , Tate Publishing, London, 2012, pp. 177, 180-82, N5300 .A683 2012 (YCBA)

Graham Reynolds, English Landscape 1630-1850, Apollo, vol.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 271, N1 A54 105:2 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)]

David H. Solkin, Art in Britain 1660-1815, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015, pp. 215-16, 259, fig. 218, N6766 S65 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

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