Castle Duart, Isle of Mull (Dated 1748)
About this artwork
Sandby went to Argyll with Lieutenant Colonel David Watson in 1748. Watson was conducting a survey of the area, and Sandby’s job was to make views and draw plans of Tioram and Duart Castle to explain their strategic positions. Sandby uses figures and a boat to give the castle a sense of scale and position in relation to the shoreline and mountains. A copy of this drawing by John Clerk of Eldin is also in the National Gallery of Scotland’s collection of Prints and Drawings (D 4381).
Sandby is best known for his topographical and picturesque landscapes in watercolour. He probably learned drawing from his brother Thomas, and like him became a military draughtsman for the Board of Ordnance at the Tower of London. In 1747 Sandby was appointed chief draughtsman to the Military Survey in Scotland, established in the wake of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. Based in Edinburgh, where he taught Robert Adam drawing, he travelled throughout the country producing detailed maps for the army and painting both topographical and picturesque views. In 1768 he became a founder member of the Royal Academy, London.