SHEF_MSH_VIS_2219
Topic: Subject or sitter

I believe that this is Ibbetson's depiction of one of the tourist attractions of the Lake District - the Lodore Falls. This cascade plunges down the hillside, from the cleft in the rock high behind the building, which is the old Lodore Inn. This scene was painted by most leading landscape artists around 1800. Ibbetson is known to have visited this area as he painted the ford across the Derwent to the village of Grange, which is only a mile away https://bit.ly/3f4WcLS. Here are some links to images of Lodore Falls by other artists - Constable - https://bit.ly/3yo5kCJ; Turner - https://bit.ly/3yqnLXv; Loutherburg - https://bit.ly/3wkmuiL

I have also found the following on-line brochure useful https://bit.ly/3wnmIWC. It states that the large hotel was built in 1870 to the North of an inn which had existed there from a much earlier date. The remains of the old inn still survive and have been incorporated into the present building. The narrow roofed extension at the front, and the pattern of windows show that the building is that depicted in Ibbetson's painting. The brochure quotes a publication of 1795 describing the scene on approaching from Derwentwater ‘we landed near a public house and walked up to a ruinous mill at the foot of Lowdore Waterfall’. This will be the mill which appears in Loutherburg's painting.

Cliff Thornton, Entry reviewed by Art UK

3 comments

The Collection has commented: 'This work was sold as 'A Hilly Landscape with Cottages, Figures and Animals' in 1911 and was later purchased from the buyer by us in 1950. There is a Christies stencil on the reverse: 759BX. '

Kieran Owens,

There certainly are very convincing similarities in some of the architectural details, as highlighted in the attached composite.

The Lowdore (sic) Inn was certainly there as early as 1819, as it features in John Robinson's 'A Guide to the Lakes...' of that year. His amusing description is attached.

• Title

If painted towards the latter years of the artist's life, perhaps the painting could be retitled thus:

The Lowdore Inn and Falls, Derwent Water

(or The Lodore Inn and Falls, Derwentewater to reflect more modern spelling)

I think Cliiff Thornton may well be right, and Kieran's images support this identifcation. Although the building is not obviously an inn (there is no inn sign), the benches below the left hand windows are suggestive.

Comparing contemporaries' views of the falls, it is remarkable how much artistic licence is used in depictions of the landscape surrounding the falls. But Ibbetson's view is not inconsistent with those. It is also interesting how little emphasis he gives to the falls themselves, in shadow behind the crag to the left.

(As chidren, we had many holidays in the Lakes and spent one such in the Swiss Lodore Hotel, as it was then called).

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