John Varley

Holy Island Castle


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
John Varley 1778–1842
Watercolour on paper
Support: 105 × 127 mm
Bequeathed by J.R. Holliday 1927

Display caption

Varley toured Northumberland in 1808, and the area provided him with subject matter for watercolours for several years. This is one of several showing the castle on Lindisfarne, an island connected to the Northumbria coastline by a causeway that disappears at high tide. The castle dates to the sixteenth century, but the historic associations of the island go back to the sixth century. A number of artists in search of Picturesque subjects with strong historical associations painted not only the Castle but also the ruined priory on Lindisfarne.

Gallery label, August 2004

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