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This picture shows the lake of Llyn-y-Cau, on the mountain of Cader Idris in North Wales. The ‘discovery’ of such rugged and uncultivated scenery was greatly stimulated by the taste for the Sublime: previously it would have seemed only raw and disorderly. Richard Wilson was one of the first to adapt the conventions of landscape painting to this sort of scenery, and was a major influence on other artists, including Turner. However, Wilson has still invented landscape features and heightened the precipice at the rear of the composition (Craig-y-Cau) to create a more simplified and balanced composition.

March 2010