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Sandbeck Park, Yorkshire

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Yorkshire (made)

  • Date:

    1780-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sunderland, Thomas, born 1744 - died 1823 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and watercolour

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Misses Sunderland and Mr M. L. Sunderland, great-great-grandchildren of the Artist

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 54

Physical description

Pen and watercolour entitled 'Sandbeck Park, Yorkshire'.

Place of Origin

Yorkshire (made)


1780-1800 (made)


Sunderland, Thomas, born 1744 - died 1823 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and watercolour


Height: 20 cm, Width: 29.7 cm

Object history note

By descent to the Misses Sunderland and Mr M. L. Sunderland; Given by the Misses Sunderland and Mr M. L. Sunderland, 1937.

Historical Significance: The son of John Sunderland and Mary, daughter of Thomas Rawlinson of Whittington Hall, Thomas Sunderland was born at Whittington Hall, near Kirby Lonsdale, Lancashire. He was a pioneer in the iron ore industry at Furness. He was also deputy Lieutenant of the County of Lancashire. Following the death of his father in 1782 he sold Whittington Hall and bought (or built) Littlecroft at Ulverston. When England was threatened by the invasion of Napoleon he formed the Ulverston Volunteer Corps (1803-6). Sunderland was a prolific amateur artist, producing drawings in pen and watercolour during his various tours. It is likely that Sunderland was a pupil of Farrington, who notes that he knew the amateur artist in his diary. (See: I. Williams, p.240) He also knew J.R. Cozens. Sunderland’s style is indebted to Cozens, suggesting that he was a pupil of J.R. Cozens or Alexander Cozens.

This watercolour shows Sandbeck Park, Maltby, South Yorkshire, the seat of the Earl of Scarborough. In the 1760s the 4th Earl of Scarborough commissioned the architect James Paine to encase the original seventeenth century house, in a neoclassical façade. The elegant outline of the architecture is continued in the composition where Sunderland has chosen frame the view between two groups of trees. This view looks down on the house across the undulating lines of the grounds which were landscaped by Capability Brown (1716-1783). The group of three cows in the foreground lends to this idealised rural landscape.

Sunderland chose to paint in few tones and coloured watercolours by him are rare. As with P. 8-1937, Sunderland often paints in tones of blues and browns. The outline has been sketched in pen and ink before applying thing layers of wash to build up depth in the view.

References: Iolo Williams, Early English Watercolours, (Bath: 1970) pp.239-40

Descriptive line

Thomas Sunderland. Sandbeck Park, Yorkshire. Great Britain, ca. 1780-1800.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1937, London: Board of Education, 1938.


Pen and watercolour



Subjects depicted

Country houses; Cows; Parks; Landscapes


Drawings; Landscapes; Architecture; Topography; Paintings; Topographical watercolours


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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