Art Collections Online

Richard Wilson (1713-1782)

MENGS, Anton Raphael (1728 - 1779)

Richard Wilson (1713-1782)

Date: 1752

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 84.6 x 75.2 cm

Acquired: 1947; Purchase; with assistance of the Art Fund

Accession Number: NMW A 113

Collection: The Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn Collection

Richard Wilson sits at his easel, painting a landscape. His turban-style hat was a comfortable alternative to the wigs usually worn at that time. The pose, deceptively like that of a self-portrait, creates an air of professional pride and affluence.  Painting was slowly becoming more socially accepted as a career for British men, and Wilson’s pose suggests an air of professional pride and affluence. For a time in Italy, and on his return to Britain, Wilson's career prospered. This portrait was painted in Rome by Anton Mengs in return for one of Wilson's landscapes - a gesture of friendship and mutual admiration.

Wilson, originally from Montgomeryshire, is often called ‘the Father of British landscapes’ for the key role he played in the development of the tradition, though he initially trained as a portrait painter. He became the first major artist to popularize images of Wales that went beyond topographical accuracy. He later sold this painting to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, who also purchased 4 landscapes from him in 1770. Mengs was a great rival of Batoni in Rome, and a promoter of neo-classicism.


sandy saks
18 May 2015, 02:49
I would like more info on my Richard Wilson on wood.

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