Llanycil Church on Lake Bala, North Wales

Llanycil Church on Lake Bala, North Wales



John Webber, R.A. (1750-1793)
Llanycil Church on Lake Bala, North Wales

Watercolour over pencil on laid paper
32.5 by 47.1 cm., 12 ¾ by 18 ½ in.

This is view of the hamlet of Llanycil on the west shore of Lake Bala looking south to the peak of Aran Fawddwy. The church of St Bueno was first mentioned in documents of 1291 and was built on the site of an ancient Celtic Christian site. The church still stands, although it was declared redundant in 2003 and subsequently converted into a Heritage Centre. The great 18th century patron and collector Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn's summer house was nearby.

Webber was the son of a Swiss sculptor who studied in Berne and Paris and at the Royal Academy Schools in London from 1775. He established his reputation on his appointment as the official draughtsman on Cooke's third Pacific voyage of 1776. On his return he exhibited largely subjects relating to his travels, however, by the late 1780s he was once again concentrating on British and European views. He made several sketching tours, including in 1791 to Wales, the same year he was appointed an Academician. The present watercolour is probably the result of this visit.