Fripp's roots lay in Bristol. He was born there, the grandson of the marine painter Nicholas Pocock, and trained with two other local artists, J.B. Pyne and Samuel Jackson, who was in turn influenced by Francis Danby. Fripp himself started his career as a portraitist in the city, and in 1834 he visited Italy with yet another Bristol artist, W.J. Müller. However, in 1837 he began to exhibit at the Old Water-colour Society, and the following year he moved to London. He continued to identify closely with the O.W.C.S., being elected an associate in 1841, achieving full membership in 1845, and acting as secretary 1848-54. In 1864 he stayed at Balmoral, carrying out a commission for local views for the Queen.
Fripp's style varies. Although he belongs to an older, pre-Ruskin tradition, he could not escape the influence of Modern Painters. In particular he seems to have been moved by the eulogies of 'mountain beauty' in the fourth volume (1856) to seek out mountainous subjects in Scotland and North Wales. In the early 1860s he sent a series of views of Nant Francon to the O.W.C.S., of which one, the Scene at the Head of the Pass of Nant Frangon, from the Old Road - Evening, exhibited in 1864, has been plausibly identified with a watercolour dated 1862 now at Yale (see Victorian Landscape Watercolours, exh. Yale, Cleveland and Birmingham, 1992-3, cat. no. 48, illustrated). Similarly our picture, which is undated, could have been the view shown in 1861: Scene at the Head of the Pass of Nant Ffangon, looking towards the Lake and Falls of Ogwen, North Wales, Sunrise. Both the topography and the time of day would seem to fit.
Whatever the case, the Yale watercolour and the present watercolour are very comparable in style and conception and must be more or less contemporary.