Swinton Park, Masham, Yorkshire

by Julius Caesar Ibbetson (1759-1817)

This charming oil on panel landscape depicts Swinton Park, near Masham, Yorkshire. The house dates from the early 18th century but was given a wrap-around gothic/neo Norman facade with castellations and a large tower in the mid 19th century. The main block is to the left, guest wing in the centre and the domed building on the right are the stables. The dome is greatly exaggerated in its scale, being actually a large cupola/clocktower. In the foreground can be seen the River Burn, a tributary of the Yore, with the Burn Bridge which is still in existance today.

Ibbetson was a painter in both oil and watercolour, he was also a renowned illustrator and engraver. He was born near Leeds 29th December 1759 and died at Masham on the 13th October 1817. Largely self-taught, Ibbetson spent his earlier years (c.1784 to 1798) based in London, making various visits and tours to distinguished patrons. His style and subject matter is at times similar to that of George Morland - rustic peasants and sailors. He was very prolific with his works in watercolours. He settled in the Lake District from 1799 to 1804 after several unsettled years in the South. In 1805 he moved to Masham, Yorkshire where he painted some of his best oil landscapes and a few small scale portraits.

He was not unjustly called the "Bergham" of England by Benjamin West - this was probably as a result of West having seen his etchings. His works were exhibited at the Royal Accademy from (1785-1815).

Like this work, his landscapes were predominantly smallish and filled with figures or cattle, his precision has a resemblance of early Gainsborough.

Swinton Park, Masham, Yorkshire

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18th Century

Oil on panel

10 3/4 x 14 1/2 inches

Private Collection, UK