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Caernarvon Castle
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
William Byrne (1743-1805) after Wilson
Caernarvon Castle
Published 17 July 1775
Engraving on laid paper
413 x 543 mm
16 1/4 x 21 5/16 in.
NMW A 10996
View of a Norman castle with angled towers in the walls on the right, overlooking a river, with wooded banks opposite on the left and fields in the distance. On the far side of a broad stretch of water, a woman is milking a cow and two other figures are resting on the bank in the foreground.
Lettered below the image:
[1] Lower left: Richd. Wilson pinxt
[2] Lower right: Willm. Byrne sculpt
[3] Left centre: CARNARVON CASTLE, | the Birth Place of Edward II. in North Wales
[4] Right centre: LE CHATEAU DE CARNARVON, | ou le Roy Edouarrd II. étoit né, dans la Principauté de Galles -
[5] Lower centre: Published July 17th. 1775 by John Boydell Engraver in Cheapside London
[1] Lower right, pencil: 86.185
Caernarvon Castle is located on the northern banks of the River Seiont on the Caernarvonshire coast in North Wales, across the Menai Straits from the Island of Anglesey. Its massive ruins offered the traveller in search of the picturesque an impressive reminder of Britain's heroic past. The castle was begun by Edward I in 1284 and his son Edward, the first English Prince of Wales, was born in the great Eagle Tower on 25 April that year.
See 'Links' tab.
Other impressions are at The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (4609344 & PE194/b)
P12 Caernarvon Castle, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
P12A Caernarvon Castle, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
P12C Caernarvon Castle with Anglesea in the Distance, Private Collection
P12D Caernarvon Castle, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
[1] Joseph Wright of Derby, Caernarvon Castle by Moonlight, c.1780-85, Manchester City Galleries (1905.7)
This print is one of the set, Six Views in North and South Wales, all after Wilson, published by John Boydell in 1775. The others are E22, E28, E29, E30 and E31. Solkin suggested that the present example and others from the series lacking Boydell's publication line may have been commissioned by Wilson before financial difficulties in the mid-1770s constrained him to sell the plates to Boydell.
86.185 DF
R. Gough, Anecdotes of British Topography, London 1768, p. 603; Pennant 1784, pp. 214-19
Trimmed close to plate mark