An Old Castle and Bridge

John Varley, possibly 1840

WAG 1004

About this object

The coarse paper this watercolour is painted on was most commonly used by Varley when he was sketching from nature. He may have intended to use this work for a later composition rather than considering it a finished work.

This is close to another watercolour by Varley in the Victoria and Albert Museum called 'River Scene, a Composition' (1056-1873) which is signed and dated 1840. The style and subject matter of 'An Old Castle and Bridge' suggest this work too can be dated to around 1840.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    John Varley (British, born:17 August 1778, died:17 November 1842)
  • Date
    possibly 1840
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Gum mixture; Coarse paper
  • Measurements
    paper: 22.4 cm x 35 cm
  • Physical description
    A very broad, lively sketch of a bridge with two figures standing on it, an old castle behind them and to the right of the composition. Trees behind the castle and to the left frame a distant landscape and a single poplar tree stands on a rock in the right foreground.
  • Related people
    James Smith (Previous owner); John Varley (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1004
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by James Smith in 1902
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • James Smith

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1896
    Disposal method: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Come to-day at 5/ We are home every day this week/ at 5 o'clock/ tomorrow at 1/2 past four
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Back
Object view = Fine Art
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