In front of the impressive structure of Conway Castle, on the north coast of Wales, fishermen are at work, hauling in nets and removing their catch. Beyond them the blue sky is obscured by grey clouds, against which a rainbow is visible.
The Government Art Collection includes four views of Conway Castle by George Barret senior. However, as yet it has not been possible to date any of these works. Barret exhibited views of Llanberies Pool in North Wales at the Royal Academy in both 1776 and 1777, perhaps following a recent visit to the area, and his earliest view of Conway Castle may date from the same period.
George Barret senior was born in Dublin. He began his artistic career colouring engravings and taught drawing in Dublin while making his own studies of the landscape around the city. By the time Barret moved to London in around 1763, he had established a successful career. Barret became a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, exhibiting there until 1782. His landscapes, influenced by Dutch and Italian art, are predominantly views of the wilder areas of Britain, including part of Wales and the Lake District, but also include views of the country estates owned by his various patrons. He was appointed Official Painter to the Chelsea Hospital in 1782, but did not live to complete any work for the hospital.
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