Artist: Francis Gibson, signed lower left ‘F Gibson del. 1789’ (see also detail photo of signature)
Size: 7.0 inches (18.0 cms) by 8.25 inches (21.0 cms)
‘PERSPECTIVE VIEW of the CHOIR of WHITBY ABBEY from the EAST WINDOW’
An excellent en grisaille wash drawing of this major English Benedictine Abbey, standing high above Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast of England.
It shows a view from the east looking down the Choir, with the tower in the centre. It is thus a particularly interesting drawing and may be of historical value, as the tower collapsed on 25th June 1830 (see Butler & Given-Wilson, ‘Medieval Monasteries of Great Britain’).
The drawing is by a very interesting artist, a native of Whitby, and it seems easiest to quote Huon Mallalieu’s entry from his ‘British Watercolour Artists’ (Ackn: ACC) entry in full:
GIBSON, Francis 1753 (Whitby) - 1805 (Whitby)
A writer and occasional painter of landscapes and no doubt marine subjects. As a seaman, he voyaged to North America, and as master mariner in a ship of his father’s to the Baltic. In 1787, through the patronage of Lord Mulgrave he was appointed collector of customs at Whitby. (Also listed in the entry are several books that he published.) Interestingly, he is not listed in Turnbull’s ‘Yorkshire Artists - A Short Dictionary’.
The drawing is dated 1789, 2 years after he took up the Customs post.
CONDITION Very good, the picture shows little sign of fading. It has been professionally cleaned, and is on wove paper.
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