The Art of the Sublime

ISBN 978-1-84976-387-5

Richard Wilson Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris ?exhibited 1774

Richard Wilson 'Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris' ?exhibited 1774
Richard Wilson 1713–1782
Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris ?exhibited 1774
Oil paint on canvas
support: 511 x 730 mm
Tate N05596
Presented by Sir Edward Marsh 1945
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.

How to cite

Richard Wilson, Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris ?exhibited 1774, in Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding (eds.), The Art of the Sublime, Tate Research Publication, January 2013,, accessed 26 October 2016.