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Conway Castle
The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
Théophile-Narcisse Chauvel (1831-1910) after Wilson
Conway Castle
c.1860 [?]
Etching
265 x 342 mm (sheet size)
10 7/16 x 13 1/2 in. (sheet size)
PZ06940
E89
Lettered below the image with the title and: 'Richard Wilson, R.A. pinx.' 'Théophile Chauvel, sc.'; production details: 'Fçois Liénard Imp Paris.'
Conway (now Conwy) Castle was built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales (1283-1289). Constructed as part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy, the combined defences cost around £15,000, a huge sum for the period. Over the next few centuries, the castle played an important part in several wars. It withstood the siege of Madog ap Llywelyn in the winter of 1294-95, acted as a temporary haven for Richard II in 1399 and was held for several months by forces loyal to Owain Glyndwr in 1401. Following the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, the castle was held by forces loyal to Charles I until 1646 when it surrendered to the Parliamentary armies. In the aftermath the castle was partially slighted by Parliament to prevent its being used in any further revolt, and was finally ruined in 1665 when its remaining iron and lead were stripped and sold off. It became a picturesque destination for artists in the later 18th and early 19th centuries.
D370 Conway Castle, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (PB4103)
Although Wilson depicted Conwy Castle, eg. D370, this composition corresponds to no known work of his.
Théophile-Narcisse Chauvel was a painter, etcher, lithographer and illustrator. Born in Paris he was a pupil of Picot, Théodore d'Aligny and J.J.F. Bellel. In 1854 he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and from 1858-1904 exhibited at the Salon. He was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1879. From 1859 he devoted himself to etching, firstly with original prints then with reproductions. He produced much work for the periodical L'Art, Revue hebdomadaire illustrée, notably prints in the style of the Barbizon painters and Corot. It is likely that E89 was one such exercise. François Liénard (active 1860s-1880s) was printer of L'Art.