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Oil painting - On the Wye
  • On the Wye
    Watts, Frederick Waters, born 1801 - died 1870
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On the Wye

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    River Wye (made)

  • Date:

    1830s (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Watts, Frederick Waters, born 1801 - died 1870 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

The other side of Romantic landscape from 'storm and stress' concerned feelings of contentment and reassurance. Here, Watts aims above all at tranquillity. He based his methods of working on those of Constable, evidenced in this painting by the fresh colours and sparkling light. Watts's favourite location for painting was the countryside around the river Wye from central Wales to the estuary of the river Severn, with its gently rolling hills and lush foliage. Also like Constable, Watts preferred the landscape in high summer, the sun at its most powerful and the sky at its brightest. The scene is populated: a mother and child stroll along the river path, birds soar in the sky, cows graze by the water's edge, and the boats slowly drift along, hardly disturbing the mirror reflections on the water's surface.

Place of Origin

River Wye (made)


1830s (painted)


Watts, Frederick Waters, born 1801 - died 1870 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 85.1 cm estimate, Width: 118.4 cm estimate, Height: 99.7 cm framed, Width: 132.8 cm framed, :

Object history note

Purchased, 1866

Watts exhibited 'Scene on the Wye' as no. 3 at the Liverpool Academy in 1831, and a painting with the same title as no. 325 in 1836.

Descriptive line

Oil on canvas, 'On the Wye', Frederick Waters Watts (British, 1800-1862), 1830s

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

Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, p. 296


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Landscape; Boats


Images Online; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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