Drawing 83: Grasmere
Direction of view: NNW
Notes: As Wainwright states, the viewpoint is Loughrigg Terrace, though it is necessary to go a few steps above the path to get a bush in the same position as the flowering hawthorn which is in the sketch. Any time of day except late afternoon / evening is fine for this picture, surely one of the most glorious views in the district.
Nonetheless, it appears only twice in Wainwright’s other works: on page 114 of Westmorland Heritage, and page 15 of Wainwright in Lakeland. Both are copies of this sketch.
Comments: I first took this picture on 14th October 1990 on a walk from Rydal to Coniston with Peter Messenger. It had been a mainly cloudy day and looked set to continue as we set out on our walk after 2pm; but as we reached the end of Loughrigg Terrace the skies cleared and a perfect afternoon began, though this was the only sketch we secured.
I first went to get this photo for the digital project on 10th August 2012, a glorious summer’s day. With Sheelagh Hughes Hallett and her friend Martin Feeney, I had been to the “Pen, Paint and Pixels” exhibition at the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere. The theme of this, briefly, was that the artist Joseph Farington (see Drawing 57) was inspired to visit the Lake District by Thomas Gray’s journals. He produced a series of engravings and watercolours from defined viewpoints. In the early 21st century, John R Murray tried to find those viewpoints and recreate the scenes as digital photographs (does this sound familiar?). It therefore seemed very appropriate to track down one of AW’s sketches after visiting the exhibition.