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The Wider Picture – Sir Watkin Williams Wynn

A slideshow about the wider connections between Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 4th Baronet, (1749-89) and cultural life in 18th-century Britain.

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, in his thirties, print by Samuel Reynolds, after Sir Joshua Reynolds.
© The British Museum, 1849, 1031.185

Gallery

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Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Baronet, (1693-1749) by Thomas Hudson, 1740. This serious looking gentleman was Sir Watkin's father. His main interests were persecuting non-conformists, supporting the exiled Stuart pretenders and hunting. © National Museum of Wales, NMW A 104 The death of Lady Henrietta in summer 1769 occasioned another commission by Sir Watkin – a memorial by Joseph Nollekens, London sculptor and founder of Royal Academy, in Ruabon Parish church. © Ruabon Parochial Church Council. The Honourable Sir William Hamilton, print by Henry Hudson, after Sir Joshua Reynolds. Sir William is shown holding a copy of his antiquities catalogue that Sir Watkin purchased. © The Trustees of the British Museum, BM 1831, 1112.2 Facsimile of the cover of Sir William Hamilton's catalogue of antiquities. Sir Watkin lent his copy of the catalogue to Josiah Wedgwood, the famous potter and entrepreneur. The First Day Vase. Josiah Wedgwood was inspired by the illustrations in the catalogue to throw these vases to mark the opening of Etruria, his new pottery works in Staffordshire. © The Wedgwood Museum Trust. The First Day Vase. The illustration on the vase was borrowed from one of the antique vases illustrated in Hamilton's catalogue of antiquities © The Wedgwood Museum Trust. A cognocenti contemplating ye beauties of ye antique', cartoon by James Gillray poking fun at Sir William Hamilton, 1801. © Trustees of the British Museum, BM 1851, 0901.1045. Members of the Society of Dilettanti, after Sir Joshua Reynolds, William Say, mezzotint. Sir Watkin, the man on the left wearing a toga, was an important member of this group of influential cultured gentlemen. © The Trustees of the British Museum, BM 1902,1011.4120. Richard Wilson by Anton Raphael Mengs, 1752. Wilson was one of the leading landscape artists of his day and Sir Watkin was probably his most generous patron. © National Museum of Wales, NMW A 113. View of Tivoli, by Richard Wilson. The gardens at Tivoli had a huge influence on garden design in Britain including the grounds of Wynnstay, Ruabon. © National Museum of Wales, NMW A 495. Thomas Jones by Giuseppe Marchi. Thomas Jones was another Welsh artist who was greatly influenced by his time in Italy. Did Sir Watkin ever meet Jones? It would be strange if they hadn't. © The National Museum of Wales, NMW A 82. The Bay of Naples by Thomas Jones. This view is of one of the most popular destinations on the Grand Tour - Naples with Mount Vesuvius in the background. © The National Museum of Wales, NMW A 87. Illustration from one of the ticket designs used for Sir Watkin's private theatre at Wynnstay, Ruabon.  It was the first private theatre in Britain. © The Trustees of the British Museum. Illustration from one of the ticket designs used for Sir Watkin's private theatre at Wynnstay, Ruabon. The illustrations were the work of Henry Bunbury, a school friend of Sir Watkin's. © The Trustees of the British Museum. Illustrations from one of the ticket designs used for Sir Watkin's private theatre at Wynnstay, Ruabon. Actors were recruited from among the estate staff. © The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. Illustration from one of the ticket designs used for Sir Watkin's private theatre at Wynnstay, Ruabon. Sir Watkin was involved back stage in the productions and helped with the lighting. © The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. Sir Watkin was a pall bearer at Garrick's funeral  and he commissioned Robert Adam to design a memorial to David Garrick, the celebrity actor, for Wynnstay Park. The memorial was never built. © The Trustees of the British Museum, BM 1948,0214.1. Dedication by John Parry to his employer, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. Sir Watkin supported Welsh musical and literary heritage, although there is no evidence he spoke Welsh. John Parry, the Blind Harpist, by William Parry. The assistant is probably David Parry, son to John and brother of William, who is shown holding a score by Handel. Sir Watkin loved Handel's Music and organised a series of concerts in his honour. © National Museum of Wales, NMW A 3980. A cartoon, by James Gillray, poking fun at the king attending a concert organised by Sir Watkin, 1787. Sir Watkin was treasurer of the music society known as the Concert of Ancient Music. © The Trustees of the British Museum, BM 1851,0901.355. An Opera Rehearsal by Marco Ricci, c.1709. A painting combining music and art - no wonder Sir Watkin added it to his collection. © Yale Center for British Art, XYC 146927. Elevation of Sir Watkin's new town house at 20, St James's Square, London. Architect: Robert Adam. 20, St James's Square, London, c.2010. 20, St James's Square, prior to the 1936 re-build and extension. Inside 20, St James's Square, one of the most complete neo-classical town houses in Britain. Sir Watkin's former Drawing Room at 20, St James's Square, London. This house was a place where Sir Watkin could impress his guests, make connections and further his political, social, cultural and financial interests. Sir Watkin's former study at 20 St James's Square, London. It is likely Sir Watkin penned letters to his North Wales solicitors and agents in this room, or scribbled hasty notes to his many creditors promising to settle his debts. This chamber organ was built for 20 St James's Square where Sir Watkin regularly hosted musical breakfasts and concerts when he was in 'town'. © National Museum of Wales. Sir Watkin meets Lord Grosvenor on the streets of Wrexham, drawing by Henry Bunbury, a school friend of Sir Watkin. 'Coffee Is Quite Ready, Gentlemen'. A coloured drawing by Henry Bunbury, 1763, which shows Sir Watkin, wearing the striped waistcoat, and friends © Tate, T08115. Elizabeth Linley, singer, wife of the playwright Richard Sheridan, portrayed as St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, by Sir Joshua Reynolds. She is said to have sung to Sir Watkin during his final illness. © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor.