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Douglas Bay

Date made: 1838

Artist: Watts

Description: Douglas Bay, completed in oils on canvas attributed to an artist known as ‘Watts’ and dated 1838.

The painting provides an insight into Sir William Hillary’s architectural extravagance. He settled on the Isle of Man in 1808 after experiencing financial troubles in England, and sought to flee his debts. When Sir William Hillary first occupied Fort Anne (visible on the left of Watts’ painting) there were none of the battlemented walls and towers. It would seem that Sir William was so charmed with the architect John Welsh's medieval style building, the Tower of Refuge, that he purchased (on ground-rent) land from General Goldie and gave Welch a free hand to make a battlemented surround to the entire area. Even what was evidently a kitchen garden was surrounded by battlements and turrets.

Hillary's extravagance meant a huge outlay and in 1846 he found himself in debt trouble again over his inability to pay two years' rent to General Goldie.

Measurements: unframed artwork: 65 cm x 97.5 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1954-3049

Subject tags : #artgalleryjourneys


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