Alexander Nasmyth

Dumbarton Castle and Town with Ben Lomond

By the 1810s, the spot on the south bank of the Clyde where Nasmyth took this view had become a favourite viewing point among travellers and artists. Balancing hints to Scotland’s historic past and sublime landscape with its industrialising future implied by the smoking glass furnaces of the shoreline, it captures a painterly vision of the ‘old ways and new roads’ along the vistas opened up by travel along the Clyde estuary. Together with its companion, a view of Ardencapel House, it was bought from the artist’s studio by the celebrated scientist James Watt, age 81, as a reminder of his early years by the lower Clyde (he was born in Greenock).

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