Conway Castle, North Wales

Object Details

Title:

Conway Castle, North Wales

Artist/Maker(s):

Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, 1775 - 1851)

Culture:

British

Date:

1798

Medium:

Watercolor and gum arabic with graphite underdrawing

Dimensions:

53.7 x 76.5 cm (21 1/8 x 30 1/8 in.)

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On a dramatic, rocky area of the northern coast of Wales looms the late medieval Conway Castle. It towers over a stormy bay while fisherman struggle to pull their boats ashore. Caught in this uproaring of the sea, the tiny figures of fishermen in their boat convey a sense of humans' barely significant place in the order of the universe.

The Welsh landscape exerted a strong hold on Joseph Mallord William Turner, and he made several sketching trips there in the 1790s. In this early Romantic painting, Turner represented the dramatic effects of natural light, allowing sunshine breaking through the clouds to illuminate the castle and the coast beyond.

Provenance
about 1843

Buchanan, sold

Charles Pascoe Grenfell

Leger Galleries (London, England)

1954

George John St. Clere Gage, seventh viscount Gage, 1932 - 1993

- 1991

Nicholas Gage, eighth viscount Gage [sold, Sotheby's, London, April 11, 1991, lot 46]

Exhibitions
Turner in Wales (July 14 to November 17, 1984)
  • Mostyn Art Gallery, (Llandudno), July 14 to September 8, 1984, (Cat. 102)
  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, (Swansea), September 22 to November 17, 1984, (Cat. 102)
The Great Age of British Watercolours, 1750-1880 (January 15 to July 25, 1993)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 15 to April 12, 1993, (Cat. catalogue by A. Wilton and A. Lyles 281)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), May 9 to July 25, 1993, (Cat. catalogue by A. Wilton and A. Lyles 281)
Turner (March 16 to September 10, 1996)
  • National Gallery of Victoria, (Melbourne), June 27 to September 10, 1996, (Cat. catalogue edited by M. Lloyd 41)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat.)
J. M. W. Turner (October 1, 2007 to September 21, 2008)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), October 1, 2007 to January 6, 2008, (Cat. 9)
  • Dallas Museum of Art, (Dallas), February 10 to May 18, 2008, (Cat. 9)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), June 23 to September 21, 2008, (Cat. 9)
Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings (July 19 to October 23, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 19 to October 23, 2011, (Cat.)
Bibliography

Wilton, Andrew. J. M. W. Turner: His Art and Life. (New York: Rizzoli, 1979), pp. 329-30, no. 270.

Turner, Nicholas, and Lee Hendrix. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Drawings. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 124-25, no. 99, ill.

Turner, Nicholas. European Drawings: Catalogue of the Collections, vol. 4 (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 281-81, cat. no. 92.