About this artwork

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) wrote his first book of poetry, The Pleasures of Hope, in 1795 at the age of eighteen, while teaching on the Isle of Mull. This vignette illustrates the opening lines of the poem: ‘At summer eve, when Heav’n’s ethereal bow/ Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below/ Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye/ Whose sunbright summit mingles with the sky?’ The poem alludes to the hope lent to the future by the ‘enchantment’ of its distance from the present. Turner’s illustration features an idyllic river valley spanned by a rainbow, ‘Heav’n’s ethereal bow’, set against a backdrop of mountains.

Updated before 2020

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Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner