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Samuel Palmer, 1805–1881
Harlech Castle
Materials & Techniques:
Watercolor, gouache, varnish, and graphite, with scraping out on medium, slightly textured, brown wove paper
Sheet: 8 5/8 x 11 5/8 inches (21.9 x 29.5 cm)

Inscribed in graphite, lower center: "make the open sky lighter than cloud & the sunny mountains bathe in light | sometimes a very distant mountain in | light melts up into a lightest grayish cloud. With very little difference of color "; in graphite, lower right: "There might be added an isolated bright light on the mountain"; in graphite, right: "clump of trees the great depth"; in graphite, lower right: "Harlot"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
castle | landscape
Associated Places:
Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire | Cymru | Europe | Harlech | Harlech Castle | United Kingdom | Wales
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

Samuel Palmer, known for his watercolors, landscapes, and etchings, found his way to Wales in search of a new inspiration. Here, Palmer depicts the castle on its coastal perch before an expansive and mountainous coastline. The many annotations convey Palmer’s future plans for the sketch, as he has written, “There might be added an isolated bright light on the mountain,” and suggests to himself that he might “make the open sky lighter.” The weather for which Wales is infamous is reflected in the sketch: dreary, wet, and gloomy. Ultimately the silhouetted castle presents a Romantic vision, unpopulated and at the mercy of nature.

Gallery label for Art in Focus: Wales (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-04-04 - 2014-08-10)

Art in Focus : Wales (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-04-04 - 2014-08-10) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Yale Center for British Art, Wales, New Haven, 2014, p. 21, V2519 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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