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

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.

The Museum of Somerset

Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4AA
01823 255088

Opening times

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

Exhibitions at The Museum of Somerset

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