WILSON'S 'SNOWDON'; ITS BI-CENTENARY JANUARY 1966 (PLATES XIV. 21-25) IN JANUARY 1766 Richard Wilson exhibited his now famous painting 'Snowdon', under the title 'North-West View of Snowdon, and its environs' [Plate No. 21] (canvas, 391" X 48J"; called 'Snowdon and Nantlle Pool'; now in the Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham. A second version is at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). We are, then, commemorating in this article the second centenary of this outstanding work and, in the opinion of the writer, this occasion deserves some kind of public notice, especially in the Journal of the National Library of Wales, his native country. Wilson was a native of Penegoes, near Machynlleth, a district famous for its associations with Owain Glyn Dwr. He was born, probably in the year 1714, so that his life witnessed the re-development of Welsh national spirit and renewed interest in the ancient Welsh language, literature, and antiquities. His own part of Wales, the North, is a land of mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, scenes of surpassing natural beauty, which he never forgot in later life, even after he had passed some years in Italy where he had studied the painting of Classical landscape in the style of the seventeenth century neo-classical school of Rome. The artist's education in painting is a very complex mixture of influences. It is well established that even before his journey to Italy he had begun painting landscapes; while in Venice he was encouraged to devote his life to landscape painting by C. J. Vernet, and he studied the treatment of light and space in the works of Canaletto, M. Ricci, and Zuccarelli. In Rome he met the highly intellectual and conceptual landscapes of Poussin, and the sylvan works of Claude, while in the bravura of Rosa and Gaspard the picturesque style of classical landscape became available to him. On his return journey he was able to study works by Cuyp and de Momper and other Italianized Dutchmen such as Pynacker and Ruisdael, and from all these he found the model and tones and colours, as well as the icon- ography of many of his most famous landscape conceptions. The Dutch were fond of idealized natural settings and Wilson found in himself a response to and an affinity for this style. Wilson returned from Italy about 1757, and if we judge by his exhibition picture for 1760, the 'Niobe', his imposing rooms, and the number of his pupils, was hopeful for the future of landscape in England. One of his pupils, William Hodges, in an article written in 1790, mentioned that Wilson, soon after his return, changed his style to the lighter and more airy manner of Zuccarelli, because of the pressure of competition coming from patrons who favoured Zuccarelli's more flamboyant treatment: