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John Warwick Smith, 1749–1831

The Ruins of Cymer Abbey on the Mawddach River

Materials & Techniques:
Watercolor over graphite on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 4 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches (12.4 x 22.2 cm), Contemporary drawn border: 5 3/8 × 9 1/8 inches (13.7 × 23.2 cm)

Inscribed in brown ink, lower left, on mount: "July 16.th 1790"; lower center: "The Ruins of Cymmer Abbey. | on the Maw River - opposite to Llan Ellfyd | Merionethshire.."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
abbey | landscape | mountains | ruins | trees
Associated Places:
Cymmer | Cymru | Europe | Mawddach | Porth | Rhondda Cynon Taff | United Kingdom | Wales
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

This image stands apart from the rest of the Smith watercolors, which depict open landscapes in daylight, instead showing the ruins of an abbey at dusk. Although the background depicts mountains in atmospheric perspective, there is very little depth to the image compared to Smith’s other landscapes, creating a sense of intimacy. His use of soft blues brings a certain quietude to the scene that underscores the tranquility of the ruins in the foreground.

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]

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