Francis Wheatley

The Salmon Leap on the River Liffey, near Leixlip, in Ireland

1783
To escape his London creditors and his mistress's irate husband, Francis Wheatley fled in 1779 to Dublin, where he established himself as the leading portraitist, and turned also to making landscape watercolours. Engraved and published in a volume of views of Irish estates, this watercolour shows Wheatley's enchantment with a spot near Dublin that had every pleasing irregularity praised by the pundits of the Picturesque: foaming cascade, rugged rocks, romantic arched bridge in a semi-ruinous and overgrown state, and lush vegetation including a dead tree.
Title
The Salmon Leap on the River Liffey, near Leixlip, in Ireland
Date
1783
Medium
Drawing
Materials
pen and grey ink, with grey wash and watercolour, over graphite on laid paper
Dimensions
18.8 x 25.6 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1989
Accession number
30057

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