This distant view of the city of Rochester, in Kent, shows the River Medway winding its way through the city. Ships and boats are seen on the river and beyond Rochester Bridge can be made out. On the left bank of the river, the towers of Rochester Castle and Cathedral rise above the other buildings. In the foreground, on the opposite riverbank, five figures are seated, while another stands and talks to the group.
Joseph Farington was born in Leigh, Lancashire, son of the vicar of Leigh and rector of Warrington. He was educated in Manchester and studied under Richard Wilson in London from 1763. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1769 and became an Academician in 1785. His strength was in pen, ink and wash drawings of topographical views. He made extensive sketching tours of the UK and settled in the North Country from 1776. Works made there led to the publication ‘Views of the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland’ (1785). In 1780 he suffered a breakdown after his wife died. In the next year he moved to London. He died on a visit to his brother in Lancashire, when he fell down steps at Didsbury Church. His personal diaries were published in 1934.
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