Ascension Day on the Tyne by James Wilson Carmichael

By the most important of Northumberland's marine artists, this is Carmichael's best-known and most important composition.


Wash on paper
16 x 10 cm
Art Fund grant:
£750 ( Total: £3,000)
Acquired in:
Dean Gallery

This traditional annual procession of barges on the River Tyne probably began in the mid-eighteenth century and was a spectacular public assertion of Newcastle's sovereignty over the river. Carmichael's emulation of Canaletto is far from being just a matter of style; the ceremony is really Newcastle's adaptation of the famous Venetian ceremony in which the Doge celebrated Venice's marriage to the sea. The comparison may have seemed presumptuous even at the time, but is evidence of the intense pride that local men felt in their institutions and traditions.

Venue details

Laing Art Gallery New Bridge Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne Tyne and Wear NE1 8AG 0191 232 7734

Entry details

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