ABOUT THE ARTIST:
The quality of this watercolour, which I think was painted around 1900, leads me to believe that it was painted by an extremely good artist, but who was it?
A mystery to be solved in the fulness of time like so many others. To my eye, there is a hint of Harry Chase in the style.
TITLE: The Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth
MEDIUM: Watercolour on Paper
PAINTING: 425mm X 254mm
FRAME / MOUNT: unmounted
ANNOTATIONS: Very feint pencil inscription ‘near Barmouth N. Wales’
Every good painting should have a story to go with it, something to stimulate the imagination.
I think this view shows the outcrop of rock near Farchynys on the northern side of the estuary. You can see cattle grazing in the watermeadows which flood at high tide. You will also see what look like stooks of corn in the middle distance. I think these are stooks of reeds which would have been used for thatching.
This is an area where there are usually plenty of otters. I do not think that the ferral mink have spread this far west yet.
At one time, the estuary of the River Mawddach was very busy. There were traps to catch salmon for the monks at the 13th century Cistercian Cymer Abbey at Llantelltyd.
Boats and small ships would travel up the estuary almost as far as the confluence of the River Wnion with the Mawddach near Dolgellau. Some of the plants which grow on the southern side of the estuary have survived from seeds in the ballast which may have come from as far away as South America. Ballast was removed to lighten the ships to allow them to float in the shallowing water.
A small section in the centre of the toll bridge at Penmaenpwll could be removed to allow ships to pass upstream. It can still be seen today.
There was also gold in the mountains on the north side of the estuary. Clogau gold is still a trade mark in use today. The wedding rings of the Royal Family are made from Welsh Gold.
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email address: DaiOakley@hotmail.com