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Caernarfon, with its magnificent castle, was a favourite tourist spot at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Many artists created images of its scenery.

Cotman was one of the most innovative watercolour artists of his generation. Here, he has abandoned the more detailed and incident-filled approach to landscape favoured by older artists such as Thomas Hearne and Paul Sandby. Instead, the composition is entirely about evocative light effects and sublime mystery.

September 2004