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Henry Barlow Carter (1804-1868) - Fingal's Cave, Isle of Staffa
  • Henry Barlow Carter (1804-1868) - Fingal's Cave, Isle of Staffa

    Henry Barlow Carter visited Scotland in 1846 and produced various sketches and watercolours from this tour. There are known works by him of the Isle of Iona and other compositions of Fingal's Cave. Carter is particularly known for his maritime works and close delineation of the Scarborough coast and would have felt in his element off the coast of eastern Scotland.


    This present work is very similar to other known watercolour drawings of Fingal's Cave by Carter including one we sold a few years ago. It must have been a highly regarded work by the artist to produce at least three slightly different copies of it. The recent one we sold was signed and dated 1846, suggesting this watercolour was produced in the same year. For a comparison the art dealer Guy Peppiatt Fine Art furthermore sold a similar work titled 'Fingal's Cave' that can be viewed on the website.


    Fingal's Cave was a popular spot for artists to paint by the time Carter visited in the 1840s. Earlier the marine artist Nicholas Pocock produced compositions of the cave back in the 1790s before J.M.W. Turner made everyone aware of the basalt column structure that is similar to Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Turner went in 1831 to depict the Isle of Staffa for a collection of poems by Sir Walter Scott called 'Lord of the Isles'. He was suitably impressed and produced an impressive oil painting 'Staffa, Fingal's Cave' that became the first painting of his to be bought by an American. Today it is in the Yale Center for British Art's collection.


    Medium: watercolour with scratching out.


    30x 45 cm, framed (note, the frame is fragile and has small parts missing as shown in the photographs. It comes as a free extra in addition to the watercolour).


    Provenance: John Linn & Sons, Scarborough art dealers.

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