• Lough Key from Rockingham, County Roscommon, Ireland -

    Signed on sheep lower right: WP/1775

    Watercolour over traces of pencil, on laid paper with a Whatman watermark

    33.7 by 48.7 cm., 13 by 19 ¼ in.



    Anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, London, 8 April 1998, lot 30, where bought by the present owner


    The estate of Rockingham lies in the north-west of County Roscommon which at the time the present watercolour was painted, was owned by the Earls of Kingston. The King family had acquired the estate under Oliver Cromwell during this settlement programme. Prior to that it had been the seat of the McDermott family from at least the 12th Century.


    Pars toured Ireland in 1771, in the company of his patron, Henry Temple, 2nd Viscount Palmerston, with whom he had visited Switzerland two years earlier. Palmerston’s income was derived from his estates at Sligo and Dublin, however, he rarely visited Ireland. Pars and Palmerston visited all the most celebrated picturesque landscapes during their visit including Lough Key, Adare, Killarney, Lismore, Powerscourt and Leixlip. A number of the landscapes from this trip are now in the V&A and Tate Britain. Pars’ Irish subjects are characterised by a softer more atmospheric style, with less predominance of the hard pen outline that he had previously favoured.


    Another view depicting the island from the shores of the Lough, is in the Rhode Island School of Design. A further, similarly sized view of ‘Lough Key from Rockingham’ is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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