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View of the Ferry and Castle of Narrow Water (c.1771)

Description:

This is one of a series of six oil paintings of the Carlingford area which Fisher published as engravings in 1772. (The whereabouts of the five other paintings are unknown). Dominating the view is Narrow Water Castle, built around 1560, whilst behind it is the demesne of Roger Hall, High Sheriff of Cos. Down and Armagh. The work transcends straightforward topographical recording by the inclusion of poetic touches like the mellow golden light and atmospheric sky, elements which lend a romantic aura to the scene. The knobbly-looking trees and strong green are characteristic of Fisher’s style. There is an attractive naïve quality to the picture. Fisher travelled widely throughout Ireland and did much to popularize the scenery of the country by the engravings and aquatints he published of his landscapes. His most important venture of the type was the publication of a volume of sixty views in 1796, the first comprehensive survey of the scenery of Ireland. A number of sets of his original paintings are extant, including scenes of Castleward and Strangford Lough (Castleward, National Trust), Castledillon, Co. Armagh (Armagh County Museum) and Belvoir, near Belfast (private collection; see Crookshank and Glin, Ireland’s Painters, p.155). These last are particularly interesting as few landscapes of Belfast’s environs of the late eighteenth century are known.