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

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
John Warwick Smith, 1749–1831

The Priory of Beddgelert, Caernarfonshire

Additional Title(s):

The Priory of Beddgelert, Caernarvonshire

Materials & Techniques:
Watercolor and graphite on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper mounted on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches (13.3 x 21 cm), Mount: 6 1/8 × 9 1/8 inches (15.6 × 23.2 cm)

Inscribed in brown ink, on the old mount (detached): "The Priory of Beddgelert, situated under Craigy Llan Mountains, | at the confluence of the Colwyn, & Glaslyn Rioulets. | Carnarvonshire." In graphite, verso, lower right: "J2376"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
clouds | figures | landscape | mountains | priory | river | trees
Associated Places:
Beddgelert | Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire | Cymru | Europe | United Kingdom | Wales
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
IIIF Manifest:

The Priory of Beddgelert depicts a typical scene on the Welsh itinerary. The men seem to be English tourists who are relaxing by the confluence of the rivers Colwyn and Glaslyn, dwarfed by the massive mountain in the background. Around 1800 a story, now famous, began to circulate that a mound in the village was the grave of Gelert, a faithful dog of Llewellyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd. On returning from hunting, Llewellyn discovered his child missing and Gelert covered in blood; he slayed the dog believing it had killed the child, only to discover the baby under its upturned cradle along with the body of a wolf, killed by Gelert in defending the child. This legend is now believed to have been invented by a local innkeeper in the late eighteenth century to increase tourism, and the village to have been named after an early saint.

Gallery label for the 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. 20, V2519 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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