William Pars

Waterfall near the Lake of Killarney


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 484 x 335 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

In the summer of 1771, a year after accompanying Lord Palmerston on a journey through Switzerland, Pars was asked to join his old patron on a tour of Ireland and the Lake District. By now his style was moving towards a softer and more atmospheric manner, with less use of careful pen outlines to define form. This watercolour has been laid down by Pars onto his own washline mount for presentation to Lord Palmerston. Given Pars's fondness for painting waterfalls, it is perhaps somewhat ironic that in 1782 he should have succumbed to a fatal bout of pleurisy, contracted from standing too long in the water whilst sketching under the Grand Cascade at Tivoli near Rome.

Gallery label, September 2004