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Feb 16, 2018

The UK's Finest Landscape Artists

Richard Wilson 1714 – 1782

Richard Wilson is noted in the Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales as, “the most distinguished painter Wales has ever produced and the first to appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of his country." Born in Montgomeryshire, he started out as a portrait painter and later travelled to Italy where his passion for landscapes began. His work won notoriety and lead to many commissions painting impressive estates around the UK, several of which became influential in the development of other prolific artists including Constable, Chrome, and Turner. He died in Denbighshire in 1782 and is buried in Flintshire.

Painting and caption “Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris mountain in Gwynedd, Wales" currently on display at Tate Britain, Millbank, London

Thomas Gainsborough 1727 (baptised) – 1788

Thomas Gainsborough's talent was evident from a young age when he started depicting the woods and fields around his home in Sudbury. At the tender age of just 13 he went to London for instruction under the French painter Gravelot. He later concentrated on portrait commissions from aristocrats, one of his fans being King George III, but all the time kept up with his love of producing landscape works. He was a founding member of the RA but stopped exhibiting after a fallout with its first president. Considered to be one of the greatest artists of his time, he died in 1788 and is buried in Kew Churchyard, London.

Painting and caption: “There are more than 60 works by Gainsborough on show at Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury” Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington View the painting here

John Constable 1776 - 1837

Suffolk born, John Constable RA is renowned for his signature landscapes, many of which depict the area around his home which is now fondly known as "Constable Country". As a youngster he was advised by another artist John Thomas Smith, to follow his father into the corn business but he chose art instead and today his paintings are some of the most valuable in the history of British art. Constable wasn't rich during his lifetime, and was actually more successful in France than he ever was in England. He finally achieved the acclaim of the Royal Academy in his fifties. Constable is buried at St John at Hampstead.

Painting and caption: “Golding Constable's Flower Garden, painted 1815, is part of the largest collection of original Constable paintings outside London. It's on display at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. Constables Flower Garden

Dora Carrington 1893 – 1932

In contrast, a change in era as well as gender, the most modern landscape artist on our list is Dora de Houghton Carrington. Born in Hereford, she studied at University College London where she won a scholarship, as well as the adoration of several of her male student comrades. She was relatively unknown throughout her lifetime, perhaps because she rarely put her pictures into exhibitions nor signed her work. In 1978 the long-standing Tate Gallery director, Sir John Rothenstein, recognised Dora Carrington as: "The most neglected serious painter of her time.” She finally achieved status post-humous when, in 1995, her work became an exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. Two of her paintings hang in the Tate Gallery, London.

Painting and caption: Spanish Landscape with Mountains You can see more of her work at The Tate Gallery website