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This picture, with its richly described rocks, water and foliage, dilapidated rural buildings and peaceful angler, fits into the aesthetic formula of the Picturesque. This ideal of textural variety and compositional order governed much landscape painting
after the mid-eighteenth century. By the time this picture was painted the formula was beginning to look old-fashioned, compared to the innovations of artists such as Constable and Crome.

September 2004