(b. 1714, Penegoes, d. 1782, Colommendy)
The Mawddach Valley and Cader Idrisc. 1774
Oil on canvas, 102 x 107 cm
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Wilson was a pupil of Thomas Wright in London and, like his master, specialised in portrait painting to begin with. His visit to Italy (1750-1758) took him first to Venice, then to Rome. While in Italy he decided to abandon portrait painting for landscape, later becoming the first great British landscape painter. The principal sources of his inspiration were Poussin, Lorrain and Vernet, and he also owed something to Dutch landscape painting of the late 17th century Among his finest works are his English landscape and Welsh mountain scenes, which are executed with topographical accuracy and show great skill in composition and a finely graded palette in the way they convey the expanse and peace of the lakes and hills.