Castle Rock, Cumberland
The full title of this watercolour when it was exhibited in 1877 was 'The Castle Rock of the "Bridal of Triermain," Vale of St John's, Cumberland'. 'The Bridal of Triermain' was a poem by Sir Walter Scott which transformed the rock into an enchanted castle, visited by King Arthur. St John's in the Vale is a small valley near Keswick in the Lake District in what is now Cumbria. Whaite was born and brought up in Manchester. A trip to Switzerland as a young man inspired him to regularly paint mountainous landscapes. He spent most of his summers in North Wales, which provided him with plenty of inspiration for his painting. He later became president of the Royal Cambrian Society. Whaite also went to the Lake District to paint, as seen here. He was heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, resulting in the highly detailed, rich coloured landscapes which typify his work.