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Views of York...
8:53am Tuesday 19th June 2012 in History articles
This view of the Minster from the city walls is as popular today as it was in the time of the painter John White Abbot – though it has changed considerably, not least as a result of the arrival of the railways.
Abbot’s 1791 watercolour may not itself be a strictly accurate representation of the way the city looked in his day however, writes Peter Brown in his catalogue to the Views of York exhibition at Fairfax House, where this painting is on loan from York Art Gallery.
“Abbot, an Exeter apothecary, was a prodigious amateur artist, but his only known tour outside his native Devon was in 1791 when he visited the Lakes, Scotland, the North East and York,” Mr Brown writes.
“York Art Gallery has all four of his known watercolours of the city, not painted ‘on the spot’ but worked up later. This view… of the urban prospect from the south-west shows a move away from the strict topographical accuracy of earlier artistic representations towards a more romantic evocation of the cityscape.”
• The Views of York exhibition runs at Fairfax House until August 31. To find out more, visit the York Civic Trust website, yorkcivictrust.co.uk