Bolton Abbey was founded in the mid twelfth century. Once an Augustinian Priory, the estate is now owned by the Dukes of Devonshire. The ruins of the abbey have also been painted by Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin and Peter de Wint, while Sir Edwin Landseer painted an interior view of the abbey as it might have appeared when occupied, which was titled ‘Scene in the Olden Time at Bolton Abbey’ (c.1834; Chatsworth House, Derbyshire).
Thomas Creswick was born in Sheffield. He moved to London in 1828, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1842 and appointed a full Academician in 1851. He also exhibited at the British Institution and the Birmingham Society of Artists. The paintings of Creswick’s early career (until around 1840) look to the work of 18th- and early 19th-century British landscape painters and many of them depict scenes in Wales, Ireland or northern England. During the 1840s Creswick was associated with the ‘Clique’, an informal group of artists which included William Powell Frith and Augustus Egg, among others, who met to sketch and discuss their work.
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