About this artwork

In 1807 the young Edinburgh-born poet and essayist John Wilson (1785-1854) ‘retired’ to the Lake District to begin his literary career as an associate of Wordsworth and the Lake Poets. He had recently purchased a sizeable country estate near Bowness, offering spectacular views of Lake Windermere and the Langdale Pikes. That summer Nasmyth was invited from Edinburgh to design an ideal literary retreat next to the existing rustic cottage. Nasmyth’s fascination with architecture and landscape design had already earned him commissions for advisory services to the Dukes of Atholl and Argyll. This painting was worked up from pencil sketches done on the spot, and was shown in the first public exhibition to be held in Edinburgh, staged by the Associated Artists in 1808.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Elleray ('The Old Cottage at Elery in Westmoreland, the seat of John Wilson Esqr')
  • date created:
    About 1808
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    45.00 x 60.50 cm (framed: 60.00 x 75.00 x 7.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 2005
  • accession number:
    NG 2780
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Alexander Nasmyth

Alexander Nasmyth