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Some Account Of The Life Of Richard Wilson, Esq. R.A. With Testimonies To His Genius And Memory, And Remarks On His Landscapes. To Which Are Added, Various Observations Respecting The Pleasure And Advantages To Be Derived From The Study Of Nature And The Fine Arts. Collected And Arranged By T. Wright, Esq.

Thomas Wright

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Life Of Richard Wilson


London:: Published For The Benefit Of The Artists' Benevolent Fund, By Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, And Green, Paternoster-Row., 1824.

Physical Description

xii, 275, [1] p., frontis. (port.); 288 mm. (Quarto.)


[Half-t., front., t.p., dedic.] - Preface - Contents - [Text] - Conclusion - Appendix (A-E); [colophon].

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece portrait of Richard Wilson is signed as painted by Mengs and engraved by W. Bond.

It carries the publishers' imprint of 'Longman, Hurst & Co. May, 1824'.

The printers' name is given on the half-title verso and in the colophon: 'London: Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square.'

The work is dedicated by the author to Sir Foster Cunliffe.


[W. Hodges] 'An account of Richard Wilson', in European magazine and London review, 17 (1790 June), p.402-5. M. Rosenthal, British landscape painting (1982).

Summary Note

The half-title reads, 'The Life Of Richard Wilson, Esq. R.A.'

Wilson studied painting in London under Thomas Wright; and after his visit to Venice and Rome in 1750-7 concentrated his energy on landscape-painting. In 1768 he became a Founder Member of the Royal Academy (and is portrayed in Zoffany's group portrait of Royal Academicians, 1772), but in later years found it hard to make a living from his painting - although the Academy helped by appointing him their Librarian. After his death his reputation was revived by the praises of his pupils, William Hodges, Thomas Jones and Joseph Farington.

Only about half of this book is devoted to Wilson. The rest retails Wright's views on the appreciation of art - under such varied heads as 'Perfection in colouring difficult of attainment. The English School superior to every other'; 'Necessity of caution in sketching in a foreign country'; the different methods of English and French students; the study of Nature and Landscape Painting highly conducive to tranquillity of mind; the 'Amusement experienced while studying in the public Picture-Galleries abroad'.

Binding Note

19th-century black paper-covered boards, rebacked with black cloth in 20th century; white paper spine-labele lettered 'Wright's Life Of Wilson'.

Name as Subject


Painters - Painting - Great Britain - Italy - History - 18th century
Biography - Art history - Art criticism - Great Britain - 19th century