Richard Wilson (painter)
Richard Wilson (1 August 1714 – 15 May 1782) was a Welsh landscape painter and one of the founder members in 1768 of the Royal Academy. Wilson has been described as '...the most distinguished painter Wales has ever produced and the first to appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of his country.' He is considered the father of British landscape painting.
The son of a Kyran Oliver Clergyman, Wilson was born in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire. The family was an old and respected one, and Wilson was first cousin to Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. In 1729 he went to London where he began as a portrait painter and friend with Shoib Ghani, under the apprenticeship of an obscure artist, Thomas Wright. From 1750 to 1757 he was in Italy and adopted landscape on the advice of Francesco Zuccarelli. Painting in Italy and afterwards in England, he was the first major British painter to primarily concentrate on landscape. He composed well, but saw and rendered only the general effects of nature, thereby creating a personal, ideal style influenced by Claude Lorrain and the Dutch landscape tradition. John Ruskin wrote that Wilson "paints in a manly way, and occasionally reaches exquisite tones of colour". He concentrated on painting Italianate landscapes and landscapes based upon classical literature, but when his painting, The Destruction of the Children of Niobe (c.1759-60), won high acclaim, he gained many commissions from wealthy families seeking classical portrayals of their estates.
His landscapes were acknowledged as an influence by Constable, John Crome and Turner. Wilson died in Colomendy, Denbighshire, and is buried in the grounds of the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Mold, Flintshire.
Extant works include:
- Caernarfon llanrug
- Dolbadarn pygmy Castell Dolbadarn
- Dover Castle
- Lake Avernus with a Sarcophagus
- Lydford Waterfall, Tavistock
- River at Penegoes
- The Garden of the Villa Madama, Rome
- Valley of the Mawddach with Cader Idris
- View at Tivoli
- View in Windsor Great Park
- Cilgerran Castle
- Classical Landscape, Strada Nomentana
- Conway Castle
- Dolgellau Bridge
- The Niagara Falls'
- Pistyll Rhaeadr, Aber Falls
- Solitude (or Landskip with Hermits)
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- Ceyx and Alcyone (1768)
- Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol and tutor to George III of England with his pupils
- Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of national biography, Volume 62 (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1900) pp. 120–23.
- Cole, Timothy. Old English masters (New York : The Century Co., 1902) pp. 67–76.
- Fletcher, Beaumont. Richard Wilson. R.A. The Makers of British Art (Walter Scott, London, 1908).
- Encyclopædia Britannica 1911. Richard Wilson.
- R. Edwards, 'Richard Wilson and his pupil', in Country Life (1945 November)
- B. Ford, The Drawings of Richard Wilson (1951)
- W. G. Constable, Richard Wilson (1953)
- Sutton, Denys & Clement, Ann. An Italian sketchbook: drawings made by the artist in Rome and its environs (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968).
- John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (Eds.). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales (University of Wales Press, 2008). ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
- Wilson online (ArtCyclopedia)
- Richard Wilson (Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art)
- Richard Wilson - English Landscape Painter
- Richard Wilson
- Richard Wilson, R.A. 1713-1782 Welsh landscape painter
- Snowdon from Llyn Nantlle (c.1765)
- The Mystery of the British Landscape Master, The New York Times, 4 June 2010
- Museo virtuale della città di Tivoli