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Richard Wilson

Wilson, Richard, 1713?–1782, British landscape painter, b. Wales. He studied in London and achieved success as a portrait painter, but after a visit to Italy (c.1750–1756) he devoted himself to landscape in the classical tradition of Claude Lorrain. The exhibition of Wilson's Niobe in 1760 won him acclaim, and he was made a member and later librarian of the Royal Academy. His work did not become generally popular until after his death. Although his Italian landscapes did not depart from the classical tradition of picturesque Roman ruins and recumbent nymphs, his work shows considerable originality and breadth of treatment, especially in his many fine paintings of English country houses. He exerted a strong influence on subsequent landscape painting in England. On Hounslow Heath (National Gall., London) and Afternoon and Lake Nemi (both: Metropolitan Mus.) are well-known examples of his work.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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