North Wales was a favourite sketching ground for Benjamin Williams Leader. He visited it almost every summer from the late 1850s until 1889. This finished work is the result of one of his earlier visits when he frequented the beauty spots around Betws-y-Coed and Capel Curig.
It is possible that this is the painting which Leader sold in 1863 to A. Crocker for £28.6s.0d, which was entitled Looking up the Llugwy at Bettws-y-Coed. There are two other versions of this scene. One, also signed and dated 1863 and the same size, is in the collection of the Manchester City Art Galleries; Graves Gift 1943. The other, a larger work measuring 42¾ x 72¾ inches, is unsigned and undated.
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.