• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7635

    British Art on Paper

    10 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 26

    John Varley, O.W.S. (1778-1842)

    A view of Snowdon from Capel Curig, North Wales

    Price Realised  


    John Varley, O.W.S. (1778-1842)
    A view of Snowdon from Capel Curig, North Wales
    pencil and watercolour
    5½ x 8 in. (14 x 20.3 cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Many of John Varley's early landscapes show views of Wales, which he visited on a number of sketching tours between 1798 and 1802. He was fascinated by the mountains, and by Snowdon above all, which became a recurring motif in his work throughout his career. The present watercolour seems to have been painted from a very similar viewpoint to that in Snowdon from Capel Curig, circa 1805-10, in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and Snowdon from Capel Curig, 1810, in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery. Varley's early works show the influence of Girtin and tend to be more naturalistic than his later works, in which he refined his compositions to make them more classically harmonious in the manner of Claude Lorrain (circa 1600-1682) and Richard Wilson, R.A. (1714-1782). The elegantly classical tree on the right of the present composition suggests that it belongs to this latter stage of Varley's career.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    with Leger Galleries, London, December 1979.

    Pre-Lot Text