Richard Wilson (1713-1782)

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Lake Avernus, 1765

Richard Wilson was a Welsh landscape painter and one of the founder members of the Royal Academy in 1768. The son of a clergyman, Wilson was born in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire. In 1729, he went to London where he began as a portrait painter.


The Vale of Narni, 1760

From 1750 to 1757, Wilson 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. Wilson 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. According to John Ruskin, he “paints in a manly way and occasionally reaches exquisite tones of colour.” Wilson’s landscapes were acknowledged as an influence by Constable and Turner. Wilson died in Colomendy, Denbighshire.


Snowdon from Lyln Manttle, 1765


The Destruction of the Children of Niobe, 1760, Oil on Canvas, Yale Center for British Art


Caernavon Castle, ca. 1744-45, Oil on Canvas, Detroit Institute of Arts


Tivoli: The Cascatelli Grandi and the Villa of Maecenas, ca. 1752, Oil on Canvas, Private Collection, Seattle


The White Monk, ca. 1760-62, Oil on Canvas, Toledo Museum of Art


Self-portrait, Oil on Canvas, 54.2 x 43.8, National Museum of Wales


Portrait of a Lady: Maid of Honor, Oil on Canvas, 126.5 x 101.5 cm, National Museum of Wales


Ceyx and Alcyone, 1768, Oil on Canvas, 101.5 x 127 cm, National Museum of Wales


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