Wilson, Richard,1713?–1782, British landscape painter, b. Wales. He studied in London and achieved success as a portrait painter, but after a visit to Italy (c.1750–1756) he devoted himself to landscape in the classical tradition of Claude Lorrain. The exhibition of Wilson's Niobe in 1760 won him acclaim, and he was made a member and later librarian of the Royal Academy. His work did not become generally popular until after his death. Although his Italian landscapes did not depart from the classical tradition of picturesque Roman ruins and recumbent nymphs, his work shows considerable originality and breadth of treatment, especially in his many fine paintings of English country houses. He exerted a strong influence on subsequent landscape painting in England. On Hounslow Heath (National Gall., London) and Afternoon and Lake Nemi (both: Metropolitan Mus.) are well-known examples of his work.
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Wilson, Richard(1926– ) physicist; born in London, England. He came to the U.S.A. in 1950 to be a research associate at Rochester (1950–51) and Stanford (1951–52) while concurrently teaching at Christ Church, Oxford (1948–53). He joined Harvard in 1955. A specialist in both elementary particles and environmental physics, he was an outspoken advocate of the need for atomic power.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.