Château Gaillard was built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart who was simultaneously King of England and Duke of Normandy. The medieval castle in Normandy became a symbol for Britain’s former power in the region. Cotman suggests this by depicting the ruins from a low vantage point. They are silhouetted against the sky, appearing to rise above the surrounding landscape. The inscription indicates that Cotman made the sketch while travelling in Normandy in July 1818. He then signed and dated it in 1819, suggesting he worked up and finished the watercolour in his studio later.
Gallery label, October 2019
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