Landscape with Figure in Foreground

Landscape with Figure in Foreground

c. 1840

Cornelius Varley

(British, 1781-1873)

Brown ink and brown wash with graphite

Support: Wove paper with watermark

Sheet: 49.1 x 38.1 cm (19 5/16 x 15 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2004.40

Description

Primarily self-taught, Varley played a significant role in the development of open-air drawing practice in 19thcentury England. He relished the opportunity to engage directly with natural phenomena and made numerous sketches of the English landscape. Raised by his uncle who was a watchmaker, Varley combined his artistic interests with his exposure to science, and in 1809 invented a "graphic telescope," a drawing instrument loosely derived from the camera obscura. Varley’s drawings were more than mere transcriptions of nature, however. This drawing illustrates a stanza of Samuel Roger’s popular poem "The Pleasures of Memory":

The adventuring boy that asks his little share
And hies from home, with many a gossip’s prayer
Turns on a neighboring hill once more to see
The dear abode of peace and privacy;
And as he turns, the thatch among the trees
The smoke’s blue wreaths, ascending from the
breeze,
The Village Common scattered with white sheep
All rouse reflection’s sadly pleasing train
And oft he looks, and weeps, and looks again.

See also
Collection: 
DR - British
Department: 
Drawings
Type of artwork: 
Drawing

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.