Image Resources | Currently on View in Charles O. McGaughey Gallery (H213)
Richard Wilson spent much of the decade of the 1750s in Italy, living in both Venice and Rome. Upon his return to England around 1759, he quickly became the preeminent English painter of the classical landscape.
Apollo and the Seasons provides an early example of the picturesque landscape tradition in England. In such works, the genres of landscape and history painting overlap in a way that validates an aesthetic response to nature through nostalgic references to classical literature and mythology. The inclusion of a ruined temple bathed in golden light heightens these literary associations.