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Richard Wilson RA, 1714–1782, British, active in Italy (1750–56)
Dinas Bran from Llangollen
1770 to 1771
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 71 × 96 3/8 inches (180.3 × 244.8 cm)

Label on verso, center: “Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd. | [logo] No 34222 | [...] | London, | 43, Old Bond Street. | Piccadilly, W.”; upper center: “[...] | Royal Academy Exhibition of the Works of the Old Masters, [...] | Name of Artist Wilson | Title of Work The V[...] of Llangollen | Name and Address of P[...] | Sir Watkin Williams Wynn [...] | [...]”

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
axe | bridge (built work) | bucket | castle | costume | country house | family | fort | fortress | hills | laborers | landscape | laundering | men | river | ruins | sheep | tools | valley | village | Welsh | woman
Associated Places:
Castell Dinas Brân | Chirk | Cymru | Dee | Denbighshire | United Kingdom | Wales
On view
Curatorial Comment:
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This painting, together with View near Wynnstay (B1976.7.84) was commissioned to celebrate Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s (1749-1789) coming of age in 1769. The young baronet paid Wilson £50 on account for both pictures in February 1770, and soon afterward they hung prominently in his grand new London house, 20 St. James’s Square, built by Robert Adam between 1771 and 1774. The prospect is downstream along the river Dee toward Llangollen village with its fourteenth-century bridge at the right, overshadowed on the left by the hilltop fortress, Dinas Brân (Crow Castle), whose imposing position has been exaggerated by Wilson. The church tower is that of St. Collen, reconstructed in 1749. Much of the surrounding territory belonged to Sir Watkin who was the paramount landlord of Denbighshire and one of the richest men in Britain; he was also distantly related to Wilson. Dinas Brân, an ancient royal Welsh fortress, had belonged in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to a line of princes who were also lords of Bromfield and Yale (Iâl), but passed to the English crown after the death of Gruffudd ap Madoc in 1269. In Wilson’s time it was owned by the Myddelton family, political rivals of Sir Watkin, whose seat was nearby Chirk Castle.
Exhibition History:
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Richard Wilson - The Landscape of Reaction (Tate Britain, 1982-11-03 - 1983-01-02)

Richard Wilson - The Landscape of Reaction (Yale Center for British Art, 1983-04-20 - 1983-06-19)

Richard Wilson - The Landscape of Reaction (National Museum Wales, 1983-01-29 - 1983-03-20)

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Art Gallery of South Australia, 1998-09-16 - 1998-11-15)

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Queensland Art Gallery, 1998-07-15 - 1998-09-06)

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1998-05-01 - 1998-07-05)

Nobleness and Grandeur - Forging Historical Landscape in Britain, 1760 - 1850 (Yale Center for British Art, 2005-01-27 - 2005-04-24)

Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting (National Museum Wales, 2014-07-05 - 2014-10-26)

Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-03-06 - 2014-06-01)

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Malcolm Andrews, The Search for the Picturesque, Landscape aesthetics and Tourism in Britain, 1760-1800 , Scolar Press, Aldershot, England, 1989, pp. 114-15, fig. 29, BH301 L3 A53 (YCBA)

Art Treasures Exhibition (Manchester, England), Catalogue of the art treasures of the United kingdom., Bradbury and Evans, London, 1857, pp. 83-84, no. 151 or 162, N5056 M35 M25 1857 (YCBA)

Emma Barker, Art & visual culture, 1600-1850 : academy to avant-garde, , Tate Publishing, London, 2012, pp.274, 276, pl. 7.15, N6756 .A78 2012 (YCBA)

David Bindman, The History of British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2008, pp. 39-40(v.2), fig. 12, N6761 +H57 2008 Oversize (YCBA)

Frederick Burwick, The Romantic imagination, literature and art in England and Germany , Rodopi, Amsterdam, Atlanta. GA, 1996, p. 226, fig. 81, NX543 R65 1996 (YCBA)

Jill H. Casid, Sowing empire, landscape and colonization , University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2005, p. 180, SB121 C27 2005 (YCBA)

Catalogue of pictures by Richard Wilson and his circle, November 17-January 9 1948-9 , City Museum & Art Gallery Birmingham, Birmingham, 1948, p. 21, no. 64, V 2449 (YCBA)

W. G. Constable, Richard Wilson, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1953, pp. 175-76, no. 36, pl. 26a, NJ18 W72 C55 (YCBA)

W. G. Constable, Richard Wilson, some pentimenti , Burlington Magazine, vol. 614, May 1954, p. 140, N1 B87 96 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 252, 253, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, A Selective Promenade, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 286-8, fig. 1, N1 A54 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)]

Stephen Daniels, Paul Sandby, picturing Britain , Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2009, fig. 50, NJ18 Sa56 P3 2009 + OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Brinsley Ford, The Drawings of Richard Wilson, Faber & Faber, London, 1951, pp. 38, 63, NJ18 W72 F6 1951 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Brinsley Ford, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, A Welsh Maecenas , Apollo, vol. 99, June 1974, p. 438, N1 A54 99:2 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Brinsley Ford, The Richard Wilson Exhibition at Birmingham, Burlington Magazine, vol. 90 no. 548, November 1948, p. 326, N1 B87 90 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

E. H. Gombrich, Visual Discovery through Art, Arts Magazine, November 1965, pp. 17-28, N1 A415 OVERSIZE (HAAS)

Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 76, ND466 G67 (YCBA)

Luke Herrmann, [ Exhibition Reviews ] Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting, YCBA, New Haven, 6 March - 1 June National Museum Wales / Amueddfa Cymru, Cardiff 5 July - 26 October , British Art Journal, Vol. 15, Autumn 2014, p. 121, N6761 B74 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Horsfall Turner, Olivia., Nobleness & grandeur, forging historical landscape in Britain 1760-1850. , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2005, p. 13, no. 23, V 1420 (YCBA)

William Laffan, Thomas Roberts, landscape and patronage in eighteenth-century Ireland. , Churchill House Press, Tralee, 2009, pp. 250-1, fig. 203, NJ18.R544 L35 2009 + (YCBA)

Peter Lord, Gwenllian, essays on visual culture , Gomer Press, Llandysul, Dyfed, 1994, p. 43, N6792 L67 1994 (YCBA)

Peter Lord, Imaging the nation, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 2000, pp. 116-123, fig. 185, N6792 L675 2000 (YCBA)

Peter Lord, The tradition : a new history of Welsh art, 1400-1990, Parthian, Cardigan, 2016, pp. 104-05, fig. 108, N6792 .L678 2016 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden, paintings from the Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, pp. 16, 78, no. 26, fig. 15, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA)

Elizabeth A. Pergam, The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, entrepreneurs, connoisseurs and the public , Ashgate Publishing, Surrey, UK, England Burlington, VT, 2011, p. 312, No. 151 in AT Ex, N5056 M35 P47 2011 (YCBA)

Martin Postle, Richard Wilson and the transformation of European landscape painting, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014, p. 113, 138-39, 165-66, 186, 199-200, 266-67, Cat. No. 81, NJ18.W72 R53 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Ron Radford, Island to empire : 300 years of British art, 1550-1850 : paintings, watercolours, drawings, sculptures from the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2005, pp. 144, 146, N3913.5 .R34 2005 (LC)+ Oversize (YCBA)

Michael Rosenthal, The art of Thomas Gainsborough, "a little business for the eye" , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1999, p. 204, pl. 201, NJ18 G16 R67 1999 (YCBA)

Royal Academy of Arts, Exhibition Catalogue. 1771. 3d, Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, no. 3, London, 1771, p. 21, no. 222, N5054 A53 (YCBA)

Robin Simon, Royal Academy of Arts: History and Collections, New Haven, p. 80, fig. 65, N1100 A869 2018 (LC) Oversize (YCBA)

David H. Solkin, Richard Wilson, the landscape of reaction, Tate Publishing, London, 1982, pp. 120, 130-31, 237, 238, no. 133, col. pl. XVI\; no. 133, NJ18 W72 S65 + (YCBA)

David H. Solkin, Exhibition Catalogue Review, Pantheon, vol. 41, Jan-March 1983, pp. 70-71, N3 P3 OVERSIZE (HAAS)

David H. Solkin, Exhibition Catalogue Review, Journal of Garden History, vol. 3, July-Sept. 1983, pp. 249-51, SB451 J68 (SML & HAAS)

Spencer-Longhurst, Paul, with Kate Lowry and David Solkin, Richard Wilson Online : A Digital Catalogue Raisonne, , The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 2014, no. P165, http://www.richardwilsononline.ac.uk/index.php?WINID=1582051040261

David Stacey, [ Exhibition Reviews ] And another view of the Richard Wilson exhibition ..., British Art Journal, vol. 15, Autumn 2014, p. 123, N6761 B74 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Denys Sutton, A meditative love of nature, The Richard Wilson Exhibition , Apollo, vol. 117, 1983, p. 44, N1 A54 117:1 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Catalogue of an exhibition of pictures by Richard Wilson and his circle : organized by the City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, January, 1949, The Tate Gallery, London, , Tate Britain, London, 1949, p. 24, no. 63, NJ18 W72 T37 (YCBA)

John Cassell's Art treasures exhibition, containing engravings of the principal masterpieces of the English, Dutch, Flemish, French and German schools, with biographical sketches of the painters, and critical notices of their productions , W. Kent and Co., London, 1858, p. 110, N5056 .M36 C3 1858 (YCBA RARE BOOKS) Also available at SML Fiche B1244 Fiche N.4.2.215 and online at books.google.com

Thomas Wright, Some account of the life of Richard Wilson, Esq. R.A., Longman, London, 1824, pp. 14, 106, 272, ND497 W7 W7 OVERSIZE (RARE BOOKS YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 3, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 286-8, fig. 1, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +]

Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester Times, Manchester, Saturday, June 6, 1857, p. 7, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers

Art Exhibitions, English Landscapes , The Times (London), London, Friday, November 19, 1926, p. 12, Available online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm : An T482 (SML)

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