Chepstow Castle on the Wye

Chepstow Castle on the Wye

undated
Francis Danby
1793-1861
Graphite on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 8 1/4 x 17 5/8 inches (21 x 44.8 cm)

By the nineteenth century, Chepstow Castle had long lost its original, strategic purpose intended by William the Conqueror in the eleventh century. Francis Danby specialized in poetic landscapes that were not grounded in biblical, literary, classical, or historical subject matter. This drawing, however, does not fall into his usual poetic landscape category, but instead is a detailed depiction of Chepstow Castle, one of the many stops along the Wye River Valley tour. Like many other Romantic artists of his period, Danby depicts the ruins as a vision of a desolate past, the expanse of beautifully shaded water accompanying a deserted Chepstow Castle. Edited out of the landscape are a glass yard and factory, which were built when the castle was leased out during the nineteenth century.

B1983.20
Inscribed in graphite, upper center: "Chepstow Castle Danby"; lower right: "Danby"; lower right: "Chepstow Castle"
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund