View of Powerscourt Demesne

View of Powerscourt Demesne

about 1789
Artist
William Ashford, English, 1746-1824
painting
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust
2019.9

William Ashford (British, about 1746–1824)
View of Powerscourt Demesne, about 1789
Oil paint on canvas
Signed at lower left, Ashford 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2019.9 

This object is currently on view
Dimensions
image height: 42 1/4 in, 107.3150 cm; image width: 57 3/8 in, 145.7325 cm; frame height: 54 1/8 in, 137.4775 cm; frame width: 69 5/8 in, 176.8475 cm; frame depth: 4 3/4 in, 12.0650 cm
Department
European and American Art Before 1900
Collection
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

Although born in England, Ashford became Ireland’s most successful landscape painter. Among his patrons was Richard Wingfield, 4th Viscount Powerscourt, who probably commissioned this painting. It depicts a scene on the grounds of the Powerscourt estate, which sits at the edge of the Dargle Valley beneath the Wicklow Hills near Dublin. On the horizon is the distinctive silhouette of Sugar Loaf Mountain, with a few small outbuildings in the distance. A hunter, his diminutive figure just visible to the right beyond the great tree that dominates the picture, approaches a group of deer, surveying the view. Characteristically, Ashford focused great attention on the details of nature, closely observing and meticulously painting the foreground rocks and the bark and leaves of the trees. 

Known Provenance
Probably commissioned by Richard, 4th Viscount Powerscourt (1762–1809); Leixlip Castle, County Kildare; sale, Sotheby’s, London, May 22, 1997, lot 179; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2019. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018

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