Richard Wilson RA (1714-1782)

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Richard Wilson RA (1714-1782) is known as the father of British landscape painting. Born in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire, he moved to London in 1729 to train as a portraitist under Thomas Wright.  Following his apprenticeship, in 1735 he began producing portraits of Welsh and English sitters - including members of his own family, early patrons such as the Lyttelton family, and military officers. In 1750 Wilson left London for Rome where he remained until 1757. His stay in Italy was instrumental in developing his landscape style, influenced by the grand classical style of Poussin, Claude and Zuccarelli. On his return to London, Wilson hired several apprentices, including Thomas Jones and Joseph Farington. He continued to paint Italian landscapes, and also took commissions from English and Welsh landowners who wanted views of their estates painted in the Italian style, reminding them of their Grand Tours of Europe. Wilson was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768.