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 William Wyld  (1806 - 1889)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom/United States      Known for: land-and townscape paintings

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Wyld (b. 1806 / d. 1889)

Wyld took up drawing very young.  When he was six years old, Wyld inherited drawing materials after uncle died (who was also an artist).  At age twenty he became secretary to the British Consulate in Calais.  It was here, Wyld was introduced to Francois Louis a well know water-colorist.  Wyld studied under Louis until his death in 1827.

For six years, 1827 through 1833, Wyld worked as a champagne merchant.  Although he was attempting to succeed in the wine business, Wyld was interested in painting and drawing, spending his free time drawing and painting with his friends across France, from Dieppe to Rouen and met Horace Vernet.

Along with his friend, Baron de Vialar, Wyld set out for Algiers.  Immensely enjoying the area, the Baron bought a house in the country.  Wyld stayed with the Baron for six months in Algiers.
As Wyld was preparing to leave he discovered that Vernet was on board a warship in the near by bay and en route to Rome to take up his new post as director of the Académie de France.  Despite having only met each other once in six years, Vernet immediately recognized Wyld and encouraged his to pursue painting.  Vernet proposed that Wyld come with him to Rome and promised to find him some means of support.

Arriving in Rome, Vernet's entourage, such as, sculpture Bertel Thorvaldsen, Wyld received commissions for orientalist painting.  During Wyld’s six months in Rome admiring Michelangelo and Raphael, he decided to tour of all Italy on foot.  Wyld took this trek with Émile-Aubert Lessore.

In c. 1834, Wyld set up a studio in Paris.  Here, Wyld  was commissioned for paintings of orientalist scenes and Venetian architecture.  Wyld exhibited a 2m wide canvas Venice at Sunrise at the Paris Salon of 1839, which won him the 1st Gold Medal in the 3rd class.

Wyld traveled and was commissioned in places such as Fougers, Morlaix, Manchester, Liverpool, the queen’s Balmoral Castle.  Wyld remained an active artist until his death in his home in Paris in 1889.

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