The Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, with Figures and Livestock in the Foreground, and Glastonbury Tor Beyond by George Arnald

The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey exerted a powerful hold on the Romantic imagination and were frequently depicted in art.


Oil on canvas
120 x 147 cm
Art Fund grant:
£10,393 ( Total: £24,000)
Acquired in:

This painting is among the best known images of the Abbey transformed by the prism of Romanticism and one of Arnald's most atmospheric works. Strong chiaroscuro dramatises the composition, in which the picturesque ruins are illuminated by a shaft of golden light breaking through a stormy sky, and the eye is led from the bucolic cattle and sheep in the foreground to the distant tor.


Henry Brandreth; Dr R. G. Apthorpe; Sotheby's, 1984; Christie's, 1985; Christie's, 2006.

Venue details

The Museum of Somerset Taunton Castle, Castle Green, TAUNTON Somerset TA1 4AA 01823 255088

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm) Open Bank Holiday Mon Closed one week in Jan, see website for details