Villeneuve lez Avignon

This watercolor records the site of the famous Pont d'Avignon on the Rhône, for centuries a strategic bridge between the papal territory of Avignon and the kingdom of France. The French side of the medieval structure was guarded by the Tower of Philip the Fair, shown prominently on the left, and the Fort Saint-André, visible in the background. The bridge became dilapidated over the years, and little remains of it today.Influenced by Richard Parkes Bonington and Thomas Shotter Boys, Callow used washes freely to capture transitory effects of light. He painted the water with a starved brush (holding very little liquid) to create the appearance of transparency, and employed gum arabic to saturate the dark colors of the ship at right, solidifying its presence in the foreground. While working in Paris, Callow shared a studio with Boys and later served as a drawing master to the French royal family.

Watercolor over black chalk (1840)

by William Callow (British, 1812-1908)

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