Haddon Hall can just be seen, emerging from the trees in the centre of this painting. Located near Bakewell in Derbyshire, the earliest parts of this fortified medieval manor house date from the 12th century. The hall has undergone relatively few alterations since the 16th century, leading Simon Jenkins to describe it in his book ‘England's Thousand Best Houses’ (2004) as ‘the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’. It was left abandoned for much of the 18th and 19th centuries and during this time it was a popular subject with artists.
James B. Dalziel was a landscape painter, who lived at addresses in Camden Town, Kentish Town and Westminster in London. He exhibited seven works at the Royal Academy, seven at the Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street, and three at the British Institution. When he first exhibited at the Academy, in 1852, his address was No.3 Camden Street North. From 1854, the well-known wood engraving firm the Dalziel Brothers was based at No. 4 Camden Street North and in 1858 a John Dalziel (perhaps the Dalziel brother who worked for the firm from 1852 to 1868) is listed in the ‘London Gazette’ as being resident at No.3. It is therefore likely that James B. Dalziel was related to the family of artists and engravers, who established the firm.
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