De-Tabley Park by James Ward. T.A. Prior, engraver. Oil on canvas? 52 1/2 x 36 1/2 inches. Image capture and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Hathi Trust Digital Library and the University of Michigan and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print

Commentary by The Art-Journal

DeTabley Park is situated near Northwich, one of the richest districts, as regards the fertility of its postures, to be found in the County of Cheshire. The mansion which Btands in the park is the seat of Lord De-Tabley, whose father, formerly Sir John Leicester, received his patent of nobility in 1826.

Sir John Leicester was a most liberal patron of British artists generally, and was most intimate with the veteran artist, Mr. Ward, who passed much time at the hospitable seat of Sir John. The picture of the lake and tower in De-Tabley Park is a fine specimen of the painter's powers when his pencil had reached its full vigour: he is par excellence a cattle-painter, but his landscapes exhibit the truth and beauty of one who limits himself more especially to this department of art. The landscapes of Ward may fairly be compared with those of Rubens, to which they bear a strong resemblance in tone and manner; there is the same rounded but picturesque form of trees, the same depth of shade in glen and hollow, and the same fresh and sparkling glitter where the sun- beams fall; for neither of these painters mado what may be termed a "sunny picture," such as we find in Claude or Cuyp. The balance of light and shadow in the engraved work is admirably preserved, the dark blue clouds ore rolling away before the evening sun—there has been a thunder storm, for the lake looks unusually wet from the splashing of the rain, and the grass is moist, and the cattle after huddling together through fear, are betaking themselves to the waters. The noble bull which stands in the foreground is a favourite animal with this painter; we recognise him in other pictures from the same hand.

There is another work in the Vernon Collection by this esteemed artist, whose age entitles him to a place among the "ancients:" it was painted in 1849, when he had reached his eightieth year.


“The Vernon Gallery: De Tabley Park.” Art Journal (1851): 52. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 9 August 2013.

Last modified 9 August 2013