Wilson Online Reference
Sir Brinsley Ford, 1908-1999
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Sir Richard Brinsley Ford was a collector, connoisseur, patron and authority on English 18th century art. From 1954 to 1961, he was a Trustee of the National Gallery and for 17 years (from 1972) he was secretary of the Society of Dilettanti.

He inherited a distinguished art collection, including major paintings and drawings by Richard Wilson. This he developed further with judicious acquisitions of his own. In his 1951 monograph The Drawings of Richard Wilson, he gave the first comparative assessment of Wilson's drawings and investigated the stylistic distinctions between Wilson and his pupils and imitators. This book is still the only one to treat Wilson's drawings comprehensivity.

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art now houses the Brinsley Ford Archive. The archive contains material concerning British and Irish travellers in Italy in the 18th century, compiled by Sir Brinsley between c.1950 and 1988. Further papers have been added since this time and the archive was edited by John Ingamells for publication by the Paul Mellon Centre as A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, 1997.