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During the 1850s Inchbold was one of the most distinguished followers of the Pre-Raphaelites. His landscapes from this period show what one critic called 'an almost painful elaboration'.
Like so many other Pre-Raphaelites, Inchbold found it difficult to sustain this intensity of vision and technique. 'Gordale Scar', with its grand motif quite freely handled, characterises the change of direction which his art took in his later career. When it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy it was accompanied by lines from Wordsworth's sonnet 'Gordale' of 1818: '... when the air/Glimmers with fading light .../Then, pensive Votary!, let thy feet repair/To Gordale-chasm, terrific as the lair/where the young lions couch; ...'.

August 2004