James Ward Study for ‘Gordale Scar’: Details of Rocks near Waterfall 1811

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Artwork details

Artist
James Ward 1769–1859
Title
Study for ‘Gordale Scar’: Details of Rocks near Waterfall
Date 1811
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 279 x 394 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1983
Reference
T03578
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

T03578 STUDY FOR ‘GORDALE SCAR’: DETAILS OF ROCKS NEAR WATERFALL 1811

Pencil on cream paper 11 × 15 1/2 (280 × 394)
Inscribed ‘Gordale|Augt 19.th 1811’ in pencil bottom right of centre, with ‘JWD [in monogram] RA’ added beside ‘Gordale’ in pencil at a later date
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1983
Prov: As for T03577
Exh: As for T03577 (8, repr. p.39)

Acquired with T03577 above. Edward J. Nygren's note on this drawing in the Gordale Scar exhibition catalogue (pp.39–40) is as follows: ‘The exact formations which inspired these sketches have not been positively identified; however, it is possible that the left-hand area is the left side of the fall at the point where the cataract divides to make its final plunge ... The void in the centre of the sheet would then be the water; the details on the right, the boulder and rocks of the corresponding bank. The sketch separated from the rest in the upper right-hand corner of the sheet could be the identation in the cavern wall on the right above the falls. In view of the lack of a firm geological context, the identification must remain conjectural.’

Nygren adds ‘With their dramatic use of line to create precise, discreet forms of a strange unearthly character, the sketches on this page bear an interesting resemblance to drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection, which Ward could have known.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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