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A View from Moel Cynwich: Looking Over the Vale of Afon Mawddach and Toward Cader Idris

A View from Moel Cynwich: Looking Over the Vale of Afon Mawddach and Toward Cader Idris

c. 1850

William Turner

(British, 1789-1862)

Watercolor with scratch-away, heightened with white

Support: Wove paper

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2010.147

Description

As a young man, Turner removed himself from the competitive London art world and returned to his native Oxford to teach and paint in solitude. This retreat may have been because he shared the same name as his contemporary Joseph Mallord William Turner, or it may have been prompted by his apparently retiring personality. He painted prolifically and traveled widely in Britain in search of subjects. This watercolor describes the dramatic mountain scenery of north Wales. The close-up view of the hillside and sheep in the left foreground juxtaposed with the sweeping vista of the mountains of Snowdonia invites a comparison of the minute with the infinite.

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