- Also known as
primary name: Wilson, Richard
- individual; painter/draughtsman; British; Male
- Life dates
- Born 1 August 1712 (or 1713, there is some dispute), at Penegoes, Montgomeryshire, Wales. His initial artistic training was sponsered by his uncle, the wealthy lead mine owner Sir George Wynne.Moved to London 1729 and trained under the little-known portrait artist Thomas Wright.
Early career primarlily focused on portraiture, though several landscapes from this period are known, which show some of the hallmarks of the St. Martin's Lane Academy.
Deaprted for Italy late 1750, first going to Venice. In 1751 travelled across Italy to Rome, here he turned his attention fully to landscape art at the suggestion of the French landscapist Claude-Joseph Vernet. Wilson spent the next few years honing his specific approach to the genre, finally returning to England in 1757.
He set himself up with a large studio in Covent Garden, taking pupils such as fellow Welshman Thomas Jones. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1769. During this period Wilson produced his most acclaimed works, painting landscapes of recognisable Welsh and English locations in the classical, grand style. Throughout the 1760's his practice flourished, but his fortune turned in the early 1770's. By 1775 he seems to have almost stopped painitng entirely, due in part to ill health and alcohol. In 1781 he moved back to Wales to live with relatives, and he died on 11th May 1782.
- A. Bury, Richard Wilson R.A. “The Grand Classic”, F. Lewis Publishers Ltd., Leigh-on- Sea, 1947.
W. G. Constable, Richard Wilson, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1953.
B. Ford, The Drawings of Richard Wilson, Faber & Faber, London, 1951.
B. Ford, ‘Richard Wilson in Rome. I – The Wicklow Wilsons’, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 93, no. 578, May 1951, pp. 157-167.
B. Ford, ‘Richard Wilson in Rome. II – The Claudean Landscapes’, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 94, no. 596, November 1952, pp. 307-313 & 315.
M. Postle & R. Simon, Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2014.
D. Solkin, ‘New Light on the Drawings of Richard Wilson’, in Master Drawings, vol. 16, no. 4, winter 1978, pp. 404-414 & 467-478.
D. Solkin, Richard Wilson, the Landscape of Reaction, Tate Gallery Publications, London, 1982.
D. Solkin, ‘Wilson, Richard (1712/13–1782)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2010.
D. Sutton (ed.), An Italian Sketchbook by Richard Wilson R.A., Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1968.
T. Wright, Some Account of the Life of Richard Wilson Esq. R.A. London, 1824.
For the catalogue raisonné of Wilson's paintings by Paul Spencer-Longhurst, see: www.richardwilsononline.ac.uk