The Permanent Collections

Painting Collection

Robert Carver– Landscape


Carver, Robert

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1754, oil on linen, 125 x 157 cm (acquired by the gallery in 1948)


Robert Carver (1705-1791) was born in Waterford and studied landscape painting under his father’s direction. 

Carvers landscape, painted in 1754, is one of the oldest paintings in the Collection. Carver portrays the rural landscape in a majestic manner, and his work portrays the stylistic approach to landscape painting made popular in this period. Often these paintings were rather large-scale, grandiose and laboured works, lit in dramatic ways. There is a certain loftiness about this painting that is quite unique when compared with other landscapes in the collection. Carver was also renowed for his work as a theater-set artist, and this painting is imbued with a sense of the theatrical. He directs our gaze towards peculiar areas of the right –hand side of the canvas, the waterfall, and a bright patch of ground tending towards the background are isolated by illumination in this manner.

While the painting lacks ease and spontaneity of the more Impressionistic works in the collection, Carver's landscape presents a reverent treatment of heaven and earth, a romantic celebration of the magnificence of nature, and a free roaming of the spirit and imagination – an attitude typical of the art and literature of this time.

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