<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

William Taverner, 1703–1772, British

Nymphs Bathing in a Wooded Glade

ca. 1765-1770
Watercolor, gouache and pen and brown ink on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 12 × 15 1/4 inches (30.5 × 38.7 cm)

verso: "Nymphs bathing/Polinburg"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
landscape | nymphs | religious and mythological subject | river
View by request in the Study Room
IIIF Manifest:

The strands of ideal and topographical landscape, quite separate and distinct at the beginning of the eighteenth century - and in the work of Lens - would become increasingly entwined over the course of the century. William Taverner, a lawyer and amateur draftsman and painter, felt less constraint in combining classical elements with observation of the English countryside. George Vertue credited Taverner with "a wonderful genius to drawing of Landskap in an excellent manner, adorned with figures in a stile above the common." The inscription on the verso of Nymphs Bathing in a Glade, just such a figure adorned landscape, suggests that in this work Taverner echoed, if not copied, a composition by the seventeenth-century Dutch Italianate painter Cornelis Poelenbergh. Despite his amateur status Taverner's landscapes were much admired and his drawings collected by professional artists such as Paul Sandby and connoisseurs such as Richard Payne Knight. At his death the Gentleman's Magazine deemed him 'one of the best landscape painters England has ever produced." He has continued to be regarded as one of the important early contributors to the rise of landscape painting in England.

Scott Wilcox

Wilcox, Forrester, O'Neil, Sloan. The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2001. pg. cat. 44 no. 58

Scott Wilcox, British watercolors, drawings of the 18th and 19th centuries from the Yale Center for British Art , Hudson Hill Press, New York, 1985, no. 4, pl. 4, ND1928 W533 1985 (YCBA)

Scott Wilcox, Line of beauty : British drawings and watercolors of the eighteenth century, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, pp. 58-9, no. 44, NC228 W53 2001 (YCBA)

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.