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This 'Sublime' landscape subject illustrates an episode in 'Summer' from James Thomson's cycle of poems 'The Seasons', first published in 1730. The passage describes the romance between Amelia and Celadon whose lovers' stroll ends in tragedy when they are caught in a violent storm and Amelia is struck dead by lightning. The scene of the disaster is set in Caernarvonshire, Wales, with the peak of Snowdon visible in the distance.
Williams, who originally came from Norfolk, was an itinerant painter of landscapes and history subjects. His early training as a scenery painter for the theatre probably influenced his choice of dramatic subject-matter and powerful atmospheric effects.

September 2004