Joseph Farington (British, Lancashire 1747–1821 Lancashire)
Graphite, pen and ink and wash
sheet: 14 1/8 x 20 7/8 in. (35.9 x 53 cm)
Purchase, PECO Foundation Gift, 2011
Not on view
This expressive working drawing by Farington centers upon Corra Linn, one of the waterfalls of the river Clyde in Lanarkshire, Scotland (linn is Gaelic for "falls"). Since the sheet is squared for transfer, the artist clearly intended to repeat the design in oil or watercolor. Here he used a range of techniques: freely applied pen and ink for the foreground foliage; brush and wash to indicate shade; and graphite for the falls. Reserved patches of paper describe a light source at left and passages of moving water. Such free handling was suppressed in Farington’s exhibition pieces. His choice of a Scottish subject was innovative, since English artists rarely ventured that far north at this date. In the summer of 1788 Farington sketched along the rivers Forth and Clyde planning a series of aquatints for a five-volume History of the Principal Rivers of Great Britain. Unfortunately, the French Revolutionary war impacted the print trade and the volumes devoted to Scotland were never published.
Inscription: Inscribed lower left in ink: “Cories Lynn / a fall of the Clyde” and in graphite: “1788”; the whole sheet squared in graphite
H. Jefferson Barnes CBE (British, 20th century); Vendor: W.S Fine Art Ltd. / Andrew Wyld (London)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," August 27, 2012–November 18, 2012.
The Artist and the River Clyde. Exh. cat. Helensburgh District Arts Club, 1958, cat. no. 2.
Scenic Aspects of the River Clyde. Exh. cat. Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, 1972, cat. no. 34.