Artists were drawn to the
mountainous scenery of Wales at
the end of the eighteenth century,
when the Napoleonic wars prevented
safe travel to the continent. Welsh
scenery offered the dramatic qualities
of the Alps within British shores.
Turner made his first of five tours to
Wales in 1792. In 1798 he made his
most comprehensive tour, travelling
over five hundred miles through north
and south Wales. These excursions provided Turner with the inspiration
to develop the scale, technique and grandeur of his watercolours.
This subject is based on a drawing in the 1798 North Wales sketchbook (Tate D01357; Turner Bequest XXXIX 2). Finberg suggests that it shows the influence of Richard Wilson (1713–1782),1 a comment that can be made of many works by Turner of this date.
There are architectural sketches on the verso (D41440).