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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Richard Wilson (1714-1782), Landscape painter

Landscape painter; b. Penegoes, Wales; portrait painter in London before going to Italy 1750-57 and turning to landscape; founder member of both the Society of Artists 1760 and RA 1768; exhibited Society of Artists, London, 1760-68, RA 1769-80; librarian RA 1776; forthright and intelligent, his lack of ‘suavity of manners’ contributed to the ‘comfortless infirmity’ of his last years (Edwards).

‘during the latter years of his life, his face became red, and was covered with blotches; he had a remarkable large nose [which] perhaps, may be attributed, in a certain degree to his fondness for a pot of porter, ... he wore a wig tied or plaited behind into a knocker or club, and a triangular cocked hat, according to the costume of the time’ (Thomas Hastings, 1824).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.