PAUL SANDBY R.A.
Eton College from the River Thames
Fine Art Society, May, 1951, no.50
Sir Oliver Millar
Private Collection, UK
This work is probably the most developed of a series of views of Eton College seen across the Thames from Windsor, the only exception being a still larger work in gouache of c. 1790 (Niveson loan to Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, 21 1/8 x 30½in., exhibited Royal Academy, London and National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Great Age of British Watercolours 1750-1880, January-July 1993, no. 256, repr. in colour pl. 51; sold Christie's 9 December 1949, lot 31). This last is the only one of the group to include a tree on the left. The other versions, all smaller in size, show variations in the shipping and foreground figures; one example is dated 1768 on the reverse (15 1/8 x 21½in., sold Sotheby's 14 March 1962, lot 43, repr.). Two further examples show much the same view, but with a perspective of the buildings on the Windsor shore leading away on the right.
This group of works, like other views of Eton, was a product of Sandby's years of intense activity in and around Windsor Castle in the 1760s and 1770s