Paul Sandby The Cemetery Gate of St Augustine’s Monastery Canterbury 1782

Artwork details

Artist
Paul Sandby c.1730–1809
Title
The Cemetery Gate of St Augustine’s Monastery Canterbury
Date 1782
Medium Watercolour and graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 324 x 508 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by William Sandby 1901
Reference
N01856
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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.

September 2004

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