Plymouth Sound from Mount Wise
Nicholas Matthew Condy (1816 – 1851)
Watercolour and bodycolour. Signed.
7” x 13¼” (17.8 cm x 33.7 cm)
The historically strategic site of Mount Wise affords a glorious view across Plymouth Sound towards Mount Edgcumbe and the sheltered deep water anchorage of Barn Pool. On the left is the famous Royal William victualling yard at Stonehouse. Built between 1825 and 1835, the yard was the supply stores for the Royal Navy, ensuring the fleet had sufficient stocks of food and drink. It remained in service until 1992 and in its busy heyday was one of the most important industrial complexes in the country.
As a young man, Nicholas Matthew Condy was intended for a military career, but, having displayed an early talent for art, he chose to become a professional painter instead. His work attracted the admiration of the 3rd Earl of Egremont, a great patron of the arts, who commissioned work from many celebrated British painters, including John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. Condy, who exhibited at The Royal Academy between 1842 and 1844, continued to live and work in Plymouth, the city of his birth, where his close association with ships and the sea afforded him the detailed and accurate observation which is so admired in his work.