Richard Wilson (painter)

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Richard Wilson
Mengs - Richard Wilson.jpg
Portrait of Richard Wilson by Anton Raphael Mengs (1752)
Born(1714-08-01)1 August 1714
Died15 May 1782(1782-05-15) (aged 67)
Colomendy Hall near Llanferres, Denbighshire, Wales, U.K.
Lake Avernus I (c. 1765) Wilson-avernus.jpg
Lake Avernus I (c.1765)
Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris Richard Wilson - Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris - Google Art Project.jpg
Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris

Richard Wilson RA (1 August 1714 – 15 May 1782) was an influential Welsh landscape painter, who worked in Britain and Italy. With George Lambert he is recognised as a pioneer in British art of landscape for its own sake [1] [2] and was described in the Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales as the "most distinguished painter Wales has ever produced and the first to appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of his country". [3] In December 1768 Wilson became one of the founder-members of the Royal Academy. A catalogue raisonné of the artist's work compiled by Paul Spencer-Longhurst is published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. [4]

Painting Practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.

George Lambert (English painter) English landscape artist and theatre scene painter

George Lambert was an English landscape artist and theatre scene painter. With Richard Wilson he is recognised as a pioneer of English landscape in art, for its own sake.

<i>Catalogue raisonné</i> comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist

A catalogue raisonné is a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist either in a particular medium or all media. The works are described in such a way that they may be reliably identified by third parties.



The son of a clergyman, Richard Wilson was born on 1 August 1714, in the village of Penegoes in Montgomeryshire (now Powys). The family was an established one, and Wilson was first cousin to Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. [5] In 1729 he went to London, where he began as a portrait painter, under the apprenticeship of an obscure artist, Thomas Wright. Wilson could often be found walking around Marylebone Gardens with his acquaintance Baretti heading toward the Farthing Pie House, [6] now known as the Greene Man.

Montgomeryshire historic county of Wales

Montgomeryshire, also known as Maldwyn is one of thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It is named after its county town, Montgomery, which in turn is named after one of William the Conqueror's main counsellors, Roger de Montgomerie, who was the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.

Powys Place

Powys is a principal area and county, and one of the preserved counties of Wales. It is named after the Kingdom of Powys which was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain.

Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden 18th-century English lawyer, judge, and politician

Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden, PC was an English lawyer, judge and Whig politician who was first to hold the title of Earl Camden. As a lawyer and judge he was a leading proponent of civil liberties, championing the rights of the jury, and limiting the powers of the State in leading cases such as Entick v Carrington.

From 1750 to 1757 Wilson was in Italy, and became a landscape painter on the advice of Francesco Zuccarelli. Painting in Italy and afterwards in Britain, he was the first major British painter to 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". [7] He concentrated on painting idealised Italianate landscapes and landscapes based upon classical literature, but when his painting, The Destruction of the Children of Niobe (c.1759–60), won acclaim, he gained many commissions from landowners seeking classical portrayals of their estates. Among Wilson's pupils was the painter Thomas Jones. His landscapes were acknowledged as an influence by Constable, John Crome and Turner.

Francesco Zuccarelli Italian painter

Giacomo Francesco Zuccarelli RA, was an Italian artist of the late Baroque or Rococo period. He is considered to be the most important landscape painter to have emerged from his adopted city of Venice during the mid-eighteenth century, and his Arcadian views became popular throughout Europe and especially in England where he resided for two extended periods. His patronage extended to the nobility, and he often collaborated with other artists such as Antonio Visentini and Bernardo Bellotto. In 1768, Zuccarelli became a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and upon his final return to Italy, he was elected president of the Venetian Academy. In addition to his rural landscapes which frequently incorporated religious and classical themes, Zuccarelli created devotional pieces and on occasion did portraiture. Beside paintings, his varied output included etchings, drawings, and designs for tapestries as well as a set of Old Testament playing cards.

Claude Lorrain painter from Lorraine

Claude Lorrain was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher of the Baroque era. He spent most of his life in Italy, and is one of the earliest important artists, apart from his contemporaries in Dutch Golden Age painting, to concentrate on landscape painting. His landscapes are usually turned into the more prestigious genre of history paintings by the addition of a few small figures, typically representing a scene from the Bible or classical mythology.

John Ruskin 19th-century English writer and art critic

John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany and political economy.

Wilson died in Colomendy, Denbighshire on 15 May 1782, and is buried in the grounds of St Mary's Church, Mold, Flintshire.

Denbighshire County and Principal area in Wales

Denbighshire is a county in north-east Wales, named after the historic county of Denbighshire, but with substantially different borders. Denbighshire is the longest known inhabited part of Wales. Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has Neanderthal remains from 225,000 years ago. Its several castles include Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan. St Asaph, one of the smallest cities in Britain, has one of the smallest Anglican cathedrals. Denbighshire has a length of coast to the north and hill ranges to the east, south and west. In the central part, the River Clwyd has created a broad fertile valley. It is primarily a rural county with little industry. Crops are grown in the Vale of Clwyd and cattle and sheep reared in the uplands. The coast attracts summer tourists, and hikers frequent the Clwydian Range, which forms an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the upper Dee Valley. Llangollen hosts the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in each July.

St Marys Church, Mold Church in Flintshire, Wales

St Mary's Church is an Anglican church in Flintshire, Wales and a Grade I listed building. It is an active parish church in the deanery of Mold, the archdeaconry of Wrexham and the diocese of St Asaph of the Church in Wales. The church has historical associations with the Stanley family, Earls of Derby, and displays the heraldic symbols of the family, including the Eagle and Child, which was adopted by the family in the 15th century, and the Three Legs of Man, which relates to the time when the Stanleys were Lords of Mann. Under Father Rex Matthias, the previous incumbent, the church embraced an Anglo-Catholic style of liturgy.

Mold, Flintshire town and community in Wales

Mold is a Welsh town and community in Flintshire, on the River Alyn. It is the administrative seat of Flintshire County Council, and was the county town of Clwyd from 1974 to 1996. According to the 2011 UK Census, it had a population of 10,058.

St Peters and the Vatican from the Janiculum, Rome Richard Wilson - St Peters and the Vatican from the Janiculum, Rome - Google Art Project.jpg
St Peters and the Vatican from the Janiculum, Rome


Portrait of Miss Catherine Jones of Colomendy, Wilson's cousin. c.1740 Miss Catherine Jones of Colomendy, near Mold - Richard Wilson.jpg
Portrait of Miss Catherine Jones of Colomendy, Wilson's cousin. c.1740

In 1948, Mary Woodall, keeper of art at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, organized a pioneer exhibition of his work. [8]

Mary Woodall also known as "Mighty Mary" (1901–1988) was a British art historian, museum director, and Thomas Gainsborough scholar.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery museum and art gallery in Birmingham, England

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BM&AG) is a museum and art gallery in Birmingham, England. It has a collection of international importance covering fine art, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, natural history, archaeology, ethnography, local history and industrial history.

Extant works include:

Winnipeg Art Gallery Art museum in Manitoba, Canada

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is an art museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Its permanent collection includes over 24,000 works from Canadian, and indigenous Canadians, and international artists. The museum also holds the world's largest collection Inuit art. In addition to exhibits for its collection, the museum has organized and hosted a number of travelling arts exhibitions. Its building complex consists of a main building that includes 11,000 square metres (120,000 sq ft) of indoor space, and the 3,700 square metres (40,000 sq ft) Inuit Art Centre adjacent to it.

Worcester Art Museum Art museum in Worcester, Massachusetts

The Worcester Art Museum, also known by its acronym WAM, houses over 38,000 works of art dating from antiquity to the present day and representing cultures from all over the world. WAM opened in 1898 in Worcester, Massachusetts, and ranks among the more important art museums of its kind in the nation. Its holdings include some of the finest Roman mosaics in the United States, outstanding European and American art, and a major collection of Japanese prints. Since acquiring the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection in 2013, WAM is also home to the second largest collection of arms and armor in the Americas. In many areas, it was at the forefront in the US, notably as it collected architecture, acquired paintings by Monet (1910) and Gauguin (1921), presented photography as an art form (1904) The Worcester Art Museum also has a conservation lab and year-round studio art program for adults and youth.

Francis Ayscough British courtier and priest

Francis Ayscough (1701–1763) was a tutor to George III and Clerk of the Closet to his father Frederick, Prince of Wales and later Dean of Bristol Cathedral.

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Events from the year 1858 in art.

National Museum Cardiff main site of the national museum of Wales

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The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is a scholarly centre in London devoted to supporting original research into the history of British Art. It was founded in 1970 and endowed by a gift from Paul Mellon. Since 1996, it has been situated at 16 Bedford Square in a Grade I listed building. This building houses an outstanding library of 26,000 publications focused on British art and architecture, and over 25 collected archives which include papers of eminent art historians such as Ellis K. Waterhouse, Oliver Millar, Brian Sewell and Brinsley Ford. It also holds the records of its own institutional archives, including a growing oral history collection. The centre compiled its own photographic archive from 1970-1996 and now also holds the Tate photographic archive. All of these research collections are available to consult in the Centre's Public Study Room.

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  1. Steven J. Gores (2000). Psychosocial Spaces: Verbal and Visual Readings of British Culture, 1750–1820. Wayne State University Press. p. 37. ISBN   978-0-8143-2663-3 . Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  2. Davies, Jenkins et al (2008) p. 966.
  3. Davies, Jenkins et al (2008) p.965
  4. Richard Wilson - Online!, 10 December 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2016. Archived here.
  5. Welsh Biography online
  6. "British History Online" . Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  7. John Ruskin. Modern Painters, Volume I: Part II. 189.
  8. Kenneth Garlick, ‘Woodall, Mary (1901–1988)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004

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