WILSON, Richard
(b. 1714, Penegoes, d. 1782, Colommendy)

The Vale of Narni

c. 1760
Oil on canvas, 66 x 48 cm
Private collection

It was in Britain that a new, emotional response to landscape first appeared in art. Though he spent his formative years in Rome and made his name with classic evocations of an ideal Italy, the Welsh-born Richard Wilson brought a new appreciation of light and atmosphere to even his grandest compositions. His beautiful Vale of Narni, with its arching stone pines and tender light, could never be described as 'superior wallpaper'. For the Romantic generation of Turner and Constable, Wilson was the one earlier compatriot they took seriously.