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The Great Bridge over the Taaffe in South Wales
The Trustees of the British Museum
Pierre Charles Canot (c.1710-1777) after Wilson
The Great Bridge over the Taaffe in South Wales
Etching and engraving
411 x 545 mm
16 3/16 x 21 1/2 in.
A steep single-arched bridge spans a river which divides around a low island in the foreground. From there several figures turn to admire the view of rolling tree-covered hills beneath a large expanse of sky.
SA 1766 (234 - an impression); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (121); Conwy 2009 (30 - an impression)
1872 purchased from George Love, 81 Bunhill Row, Finsbury, London as part of a group of 428 prints
Lettered below the image with the title in English and French and 'Richard Wilson Pinxt,, / P.C. Canot Sculpt'
William Edwards's bridge over the River Taff or Teify at Pontypridd was completed after four attempts in 1756 and measured 140 feet (43 metres) in span. It quickly became renowned and for over 40 years it was the largest single span bridge in Britain.
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Other impressions are at The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (PG00881, 004609364 and 4488829) and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton
John Clerk of Eldin, Pont Y Pridd, etching and drypoint (5 states, 1776)
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, E27, 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.
R. Gough, Anecdotes of British Topography, London 1768, p. 593; Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Graveurs du XVIIe siècle, vol. 3, Paris 1930, no. 95; WGC p. 187, pl. 56b; Solkin 1982, pp. 228-29
State before publication line