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Joseph Farington, 1747–1821
Caernarvon Castle
ca. 1780
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
20 3/4 × 28 3/4 inches (52.7 × 73 cm)

Label on verso, lower center:"[handwritten, underlined] Cardiff Castle, with Figures Digging Amongst Ruins | Oil Painting by Joseph Farington. R. A. | (1747-1821) | signed | [not underlined, typed] P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd. | (Established 1760) | Experts, Valuers and Dealers | Paintings, Drawings, Engravings, Etchings | by the | Old and Modern Masters. | 14, Old Bond Street, London, W.1. | Telegrams: | Colnaghi, Piccy, London. | [handwritten] PM #2717 | [typed] Telephone: Hyde Park 1943-44."; lower right: Yale Center for British Art and | British Studies | Artist Farrington, Joseph | Title Cardiff Castle | Medium | Size Accession no B19[...].118 | Credit line Yale Center for British Art, P[...]on | Collection"; lower right: "[...] Mellon, Mr. Paul | [...] Farrington, Joseph | [...] Cardiff Castle | National Gallery of Art PM 2717"; upper center: "L 278722 | [logo] | Allied Van Lines | 51 | Pat.No. 3,489,433"

Signed in black paint, lower center: "J [...] Farrington"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | boys | castle | crenellations | people | ruins | shovels | turrets (towers) | workers
Associated Places:
Caernarfon Castle | Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire | Caernarvon | Cymru | Gwynedd | Seiont | United Kingdom | Wales
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Edward I constructed Caernarvon Castle after his conquest of Wales in 1282, envisioning it as a symbol of English dominance over the region. The castle derived further authority from its association with the Roman myth of Magnus Maximus, father of Constantine and first independent king of Britain. Appropriating the status of this prestigious predecessor, Edward drew inspiration from Roman design; the polygonal towers and multicolored stone reference Roman forts and the walls of Constantinople. Eighteenth-century artists favored Caernarvon for its folkloric associations with Rome. Here, Joseph Farington positions the viewer inside the castle, emphasizing its grandeur and timelessness, even in ruin.

Gallery label for Art in Focus: The British Castle - A Symbol in Stone (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-04-07 - 2017-08-06)

Art in Focus : The British Castle - A Symbol in Stone (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-04-07 - 2017-08-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Presences of Nature - British Landscape 1780-1830 (Yale Center for British Art, 1982-10-20 - 1983-02-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 92-93, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Louis Hawes, Presences of Nature : British Landscape, 1780-1830, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1982, pp. 92, 141-2, no. III.2, pl. 72, ND1354.4 H38 (YCBA) [YCBA]

The British Castle : A Symbol in Stone, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2017, p. 22, cat. 15, V2722 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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