Wilson Online Reference
Joseph Farington, 1747-1821
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Joseph Farington was a landscape artist and most famously a diarist [see Farington Diary]. He became a pupil of Wilson in 1763. In 1764, 1765 and again in 1766 he won premiums for landscape drawings from the Society of Artists of Great Britian, of which he became a member in 1765. He joined the Royal Academy Schools at their inception in 1769 and was elected R.A. in 1785. From 1793, he was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and from 1805, he took a keen interest in the development of the British Institution, particularly contributing both expertise and loans to the Wilson retrospective exhibition BI 1814.

Of studio life he remarked, 'To his Pupils Wilson was an excellent master. He had no secrets in his art, and his Painting Room was always open to them. He not only allowed them to attend him while he was painting whenever they desired it, but would occasionally call them into his room, when he would commence remarks, which, in the course of his practice, had occurred to him, and by which he thought they would be benefitted. Thus intercourse was enlivened by the variety of his conversation; and he would often introduce apt stories which he told with humour and point.' [Farington Memoir].

24 of Farington's sketchbooks are preserved at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, including four dating from his period as an apprentice. These include copies made after Wilson's own drawings and, most memorably, a drawing of Wilson painting in Moor Park, dated 1765 (75.1921). See further: M. Dorkin, 'Joseph Farington (1747-1821) as a Pupil in the Studio of Richard Wilson (1714-82)', The British Art Journal, vol. 17, no. 2, Autumn 2016, pp. 13-19.

Farington also produced a number of prints after Wilson, including E38 Bridge of Augustus at Rimini and E39 In the Strada Nomentana for the series Twelve Original Views in Italy, published by John Boydell in 1776.
Significant institutions
Society of Artists; Royal Academy; Society of Antiquaries; British Institution