Topic: Subject or sitter

Can you help to identify this 'extensive river scene' in The Bowes Museum collection? Could it be the Tweed taken from near Lowood or Melrose in the Scottish Borders?

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The title has been updated to 'Teesdale Landscape'.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


Humphrey Welfare,

It does not look like Melrose; what was the basis of the suggestion?Much more more likely perhaps is his favourite Teesdale - see his ‘River Tees’ and ‘River Tees 1934’, both in the Bowes Museum (Art UK). The angular wood(?) on the skyline seems to appear again in the former.

Humphrey Welfare,

I had a pretty good search in Teesdale, using aerial photographs and Lidar, but I failed to spot it. Did Eves supply the title or is it a generic one, applied subsequently by the collection? I do wonder whether it is a generalised essence-of-the-dale view.

Humphrey Welfare,

… and I had earlier searched in Tweeddale too, before deciding that it was much more likely to be the upper Tees.

Jacinto Regalado,

The title as it stands sounds very much applied after the fact. I doubt it was the title given by the artist.

Humphrey Welfare,

What a pity that there is, as yet, no StreetView for rivers! My initial reaction was that this was very plausible, and certainly supports the idea that the picture is of Teesdale. However, nailing it has been more difficult. It doesn’t help that it is unclear whether we are looking upstream or downstream. The strongest clue to its location, I thought, would be the looping road on the hillside but I have found nothing like this on the maps and the aerial photographs. It is possible that if Eves worked this up in the studio from sketches that he misinterpreted the stone walls that are visible in the photo as part of the ‘road.’
More troubling are the trees. In this part of upper Teesdale, around Cronkley, there are relatively few of them. Others may be more fortunate but I have not identified the wooded bank depicted (so oddly) on the left. There are candidates - N of Lonton, just to the SE of his home in Middleton, or at Bow Lees, upstream, but neither has the higher ground as depicted.
Further I do wonder whether a settlement (like Middleton?) is shown to the right at the bend of the stream.
I am inclined to think that this is a composite image rather than a realistic one. Perhaps ‘River view (probably upper Teesdale)’ would be appropriate.

Humphrey Welfare,

David Philbrick, who lives close to Eves's home in Middleton-in-Teesdale, confirms that this is a composite image, an impssible view that combines the summit of Kirk Carrion (crowned by a wood, 2km SSW of Middleton) with a characteristic but unidentified stretch of the river. It is a reworking of his Upper Tees, in the Bowes Museum (Art UK). The images of Kirk Carrion online all seem to be copyright but a search pulls up several examples. Perhaps a suitable title would be: 'Dales landscape, inspired by Kirk Carrion and Upper Teesdale'.

1 attachment
Osmund Bullock,

Jimaa, the painting of the (upper) River Tees (not tee's) in the Bowes Museum that you've attached has already been mentioned, and its image shared, in the post immediately above yours.

It may not be possible to identify the precise location of this view, in part due to the degree of artistic licence involved, but I believe we can say it is a 'Teesdale Landscape', and that this would be an appropriate title.