c. late 1840s-1857
Watercolor with black chalk
Support: Textured, thick brown wove paper (Scotch wrapping paper)
Sheet: 48.8 x 75.4 cm (19 3/16 x 29 11/16 in.)
Bequest of James Parmelee 1940.552
The neighborhood where Bolton Abbey was found was one of David Cox's favorite places to paint and the church appeared as a subject throughout his works from about 1828 through 1857.
This moody, broadly painted watercolor on rough, brown paper is emblematic of David Cox’s late style. Velvety grays and greens throughout the composition shift almost imperceptibly and streaks of blue wash, describing the distant hills and sky, are pierced by a sliver of brilliant yellow at the horizon. The ruined 12th-century priory is relegated to the background, nearly lost in the twilight.
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