William Daniell's journeys around Skye, Raasay and the Moray Coast in 1815
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Written by John Garvey
The main purpose of this book is to describe the work of the artist William Daniell. His greatest artistic work is his book, A Voyage Round Great Britain, which contains 308 aquatint prints. This work shows his great skills firstly as an artist, and secondly as an aquatintist. I have already, in 2009, published a book on Daniell’s journey round the Hebridean Islands of Eigg, Rum, Skye and Raasay. This new book picks up his journey in 1815 on the Pentland Coast at Thurso and follows it round the Moray Firth as far as Banff. The book contains good high definition copies of 30 of the prints that Daniell published. Our narrative focuses on the places visited by Daniell. It discusses the content of his prints, and compares the views he captured with the same views as they are in the 21st century. It gives a historical perspective to what Daniell found in 1815. The comments of earlier and contemporary travellers, Charles Cordiner, Thomas Pennant, and John MacCulloch add colour to the journey.
Brief resumé of Daniell’s trip from Thurso to Banff
This part of Daniell’s journey in 1815 took him through the north of Scotland from Thurso to Banff. In Caithness he sketched many castles, some in ruins and others restored. Coming south through Sutherland he witnessed the consequences of the Sutherland Clearances. He made sketches of Dunrobin Castle. In Dornoch he saw the effects of the Scottish Reformation, and sketched the wonderful bridge designed by Thomas Telford at Bonar. In Inverness he was overwhelmed by the beauty of the town, and impressed by the relatively new Royal Academy. Highland dress was on the way out and replaced by Regency clothes. Culloden Moor, where the Jacobites were defeated by the British Army in 1746 is just a few miles out of town. In Forres he observed and sketched the monument dedicated to Nelson following his victory at Trafalgar in 1805. Further along the Moray Coast he visited Burghead, now revealed to have been the site of Fortriu, the capital of Pictish Scotland. The book ends with Daniell in Banff where he made a sketch of Duff House, the impressive creation of the architect William Adam.
If you hover over the images to the left, the print title will be displayed.