John White Abbott exhibited occasionally at the Royal Academy, but being a man of independent means it was never necessary for him to sell his watercolours during his lifetime. From 1825 he lived the life of a country gentleman on an estate which he had inherited near Exeter. His artistic style was greatly influenced by Francis Towne (see lot 18), under whose guidance he learned to paint, and some of whose Italian watercolours he copied. Abbott's own watercolours mostly show landscapes around Exeter, but the present work dates from an important tour he made of the Lake District and Scotland in 1791. The watercolours he executed on this tour are conscientiously dated, and the present watercolour is one of five known views of Borrowdale, numbered 65 to 69 and all dated 13 July. Another of these views, The Grange at the Entrance to Borrowdale, was sold in these Rooms, 22 February 1966, lot 143.
We are grateful to Timothy Wilcox for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.