This enchanting mid-19th-century landscape by British artist Joseph Newington Carter (1835-1871) depicts a coastal scene by St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. The island rises over the horizon and stands within graduated mists. An ever-present monument imbued with mystery and folklore.
In the foreground, two figures assist a tired horse, which is sinking into heavy sand, its cart overloaded with goods. While beyond them, a blazing sun sets amid a radiant light - so accurately rendered that we’re compelled to look away.
St Michael’s Mount is rich with history and its stories date back to 495AD. It’s said that mermaids once lured sailors onto the rocks or were guided to safety by the spirit of St Michael. It’s also a place for spiritual reflection due to ley lines, which cross directly underneath.
Carter’s beautiful tinted sky lifts the tone to a near-ethereal level. He’s painting more than a historic island - he’s trying to capture the very soul of this timeless legend.
Signed in the lower right, framed and glazed.
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Medium: Watercolour on paper
Overall size: 41” x 33” / 104cm x 84cm
Year of creation: c. 1860
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £2,900 achieved for an oil painting in 2018.