William Townsend
Dungeon Ghyll 1956

Artwork details

William Townsend 1909–1973
Dungeon Ghyll
Date 1956
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1372 x 762 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1962
Not on display

Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘Townsend’ b.r.
Canvas, 54×30 (137×76·5).
Purchased from the Leicester Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1962.

Exh: New Year Exhibition, Leicester Galleries, January 1957 (117); John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, Liverpool, November 1957–January 1958 (95), and Bristol, Bradford and Nottingham; Arts Council, Contemporary British Landscape, touring exhibition, November 1960–September 1961 (42); Leicester Galleries, February 1962 (19, repr.).
Repr: The Times, 14 February 1962.

The artist wrote (27 April 1962) that this painting was worked up from a drawing made in August 1956 during a short holiday in Langdale. A smaller oil study was begun on 26 August, on the artist's return home to Kent, but was later destroyed, and the present picture was begun early in September and finished within the month. ‘It comes about in the middle of several years of trying to paint with the thinnest possible application of paint and as little admixture of white as possible. It... was an attempt towards economy of statement and at the same time an effort to eliminate certain surface qualities in my painting which I disliked that developed from long series of thin overpaintings ... there was a good deal of wiping off and staining again in parts of the picture.’

Dungeon Ghyll lies between the Langdale Pikes and Grasmere, Westmorland.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

About this artwork