Paul Sandby

The Cemetery Gate of St Augustine’s Monastery Canterbury

1782

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

Medium
Watercolour and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 324 x 508 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by William Sandby 1901
Reference
N01856

Display caption

Sandby has treated the medieval gateway with the care associated with topographical draughtsmanship (the accurate recording of particular places) but here it forms the backdrop for a humorous and incident-filled scene of daily life.

Topographical draughtsmanship was an important skill in the military, used in the surveying of land and fortifications. Sandby was trained as a military draughtsman, but he developed original approaches. By the 1790s Sandby was thought of as the crucial figure in British landscape art, who had forged a specifically ‘national’ style of watercolour.

Gallery label, September 2004

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