High Street, Exeter, England
The Castle at St Antoine near Fontenoy, Belgium
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From the Collection
Fontenoy is a village near Tournai near the Belgian-French border. It is famous as the site of the Battle of Fontenoy which took place between the French and English armies as part of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1745.
Farington’s diary records that he left London on a trip to Valenciennes in early August 1793. He had been commissioned to produce views of the town by the publisher John Boydell and arrived there on 21st August. He visited Brussels and spent the 3rd to the 7th August in Antwerp. He continued to Ghent and Bruges, then took the boat home from Ostend and was back in London on 14th September. Two views of Bruges by Farington, dated 11th September 1793, are in the British Museum (see Joseph Farington - Watercolours and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, 1977, p.71, nos. 79 and 80) and a view of Antwerp was with Guy Peppiatt Fine Art in 2009 (see One Hundred Drawings and Watercolours, exhibition catalogue, 2009, no.8.
This drawing may originate from a sketchbook sold in the Tyrwhitt sale at Puttick & Simpson on 9th December 1921, which was inscribed: `The sketches contained in this volume were made during an excursion to Flanders in the months of August and September 1793.... These drawings were made for Messrs. Boydells, who at the time proposed to have engravings executed from them.’
From the Watercolour World