Artwork Information

  • Title:


  • Artist:

    Glover, John

  • Artist Bio:

    British, 1767–1849

  • Date:

    about 1820

  • Medium:

    Watercolor and graphite on paper

  • Dimensions:

    18 3/8 x 26 3/8 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Virginia and George Ablah Fund

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

John Glover

British, 1767–1849

Durham, about 1820

Watercolor and graphite on paper

Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Virginia and George Ablah Fund


Like many other early 19th-century artists, watercolor painter John Glover spent his career in search of the “picturesque”—scenic overlooks, vantage points, and other beauty spots just waiting to be painted. In this watercolor, Glover records—and idealizes—the English city Durham as seen from the banks of the River Weir. Branches frame each side of the composition, drawing the viewer’s eyes upward to the towers of Durham Cathedral. Painted in delicate colors, the watercolor features happy villagers mingling in the foreground, illustrating the harmony between humans and nature.

Scenes like Durham were widely popular throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. Faced with increasing industrialization and urbanization, many wealthy elites lamented the loss of traditional country life, forgetting the deep rural poverty that had initially inspired villagers to flee to the city. Filled with nostalgia, they bought painting after painting that pictured the unspoiled countryside. Interestingly, Durham—the city pictured here—was one of England’s leading manufacturing centers by 1820, a fact Glover’s painting entirely ignores.