Collection online

drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1919,0328.1

  • Description

    Charles Fort, near Kinsale, Co Cork; view looking W towards fort, Kinsale Harbour to left, with ship flying the red ensign, Kinsale in distance, tower of Rincurran Church to right, and milkmaid approaching cow in foreground. 1756 Watercolour, touched with pen and black ink

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1756
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 236 millimetres
    • Width: 390 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed and dated in brown ink: "Chas: Tarrant Delin: 1756" and inscribed by the artist: "A VIEW of CHARLES FORT near KINSALE in IRELAND."
  • Curator's comments

    K Sloan, Noble Art 2000
    From 1720, five years after the Jacobite rising of 1715, until 1740, five years before the rebellion that ended at Culloden, General George Wade employed 500 soldiers to carry out a massive road and fortification programme to enable easier military movement by British troops in Scotland. After the '45, the programme continued but maps of the country were inadequate and in 1747, Lt Col. David Watson began a great Military Survey of the Highlands in order to produce an accurate map. The survey, which later also included the southern part of Scotland, took nine years to complete, headed by a civilian surveyor, William Roy, who was Assistant Quartermaster to Watson.
        Roy had been trained as a civilian draughtsman[SPELLING?] in the Ordnance Office in Edinburgh, the Scottish equivalent to the Board of Ordnance Drawing Room in the Tower of London where Thomas and Paul Sandby trained. The Board's records for this period are incomplete: Paul Sandby was chief draughtsman from the beginning, responsible for the eventual presentation or 'fair copy' of the map, but the surveyors were also skilled draughtsmen and it is not clear whether the only other two draftsmen whose names are known, were military or civilian. John Pleydell's surviving work indicates he was only employed briefly on the later part of the survey in the South of Scotland, but Charles Tarrant was posted to Scotland in 1750 as the result of a request by William Skinner, Director of Engineers in Scotland, for another draughtsman for the Survey. According to his surviving work in the Map Libraries in Edinburgh and London, where the maps passed after they ceased to be military documents in 1761, he worked mainly on Skinner's plans for the new Fort George and little on the Survey in general. Thus the similarity of this work to watercolours by Paul Sandby is due less to influence of one on the other, than to a similar training in the drawing of conventional and military landscape.
        In 1755, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, work on the Survey ceased. A year later Tarrant painted a watercolour view of Stirling Castle (priv. coll.) and the present view of Charles Fort in Ireland, looking west towards the fort with Kinsale Harbour to the left, a ship flying the red ensign, Kinsale in distance and the tower of Rincurran Church to the right. Although both are of military subjects, they are drawn as conventional landscapes and seem to have been intended as traditional views, possibly forming part of a series to be engraved. The bright colouring is unusual, even for a well-preserved watercolour kept from sunlight, and is found in Tarrant's military work as well. It may be the result of training in military maps, which use colours to symbolize certain features, such as blue-green for water, green for woodlands, yellow with hatching for land under cultivation, solid red for houses and red outline for formal grounds.
        It is still unclear whether he had been a civilian or military draughtsman in Scotland, as Army Lists only record him from 5 September 1756 when he was a Lieutenant. The following year he began working his way up from Practitioner Engineer and Ensign, to Sub-Engineer and Lieutenant in 1760. In 1758 he served under Admiral Keppel in the expedition to the Island of Gore[accent]e off Senegal, which he surveyed after its capture and produced an account of its fortifications, as well as designing a block house to be erected at Cape Appolonia on the Gold Coast. A survey of the rivers around Lismore, Co Waterford (P.R.O.) is signed 'Captain Charles Tarrant R.E.' which must have been from a later posting, as the last record of him is in Dublin in 1765.

    Literature: O'Donoghue, p. 18; Jessica Christian, 'Paul Sandby and the Military Survey of Scotland', in Alfrey, p. 19

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Croft-Murray (unpublished) 1 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Roy PIIIa)

  • Exhibition history

    2000 May-Sep, BM P&D, 'A Noble Art', no.83

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1919

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1919,0328.1

Charles Fort, near Kinsale, Co Cork; view looking W towards fort, Kinsale Harbour to l, with ship flying the red ensign, Kinsale in distance, tower of Rincurran Church to r, and milkmaid approaching cow in foreground. 1756 Watercolour, touched with pen an

Charles Fort, near Kinsale, Co Cork; view looking W towards fort, Kinsale Harbour to l, with ship flying the red ensign, Kinsale in distance, tower of Rincurran Church to r, and milkmaid approaching cow in foreground. 1756 Watercolour, touched with pen an

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