This captivating watercolour by the Irish artist Andrew Nicholl is unusual in combining a minutely detailed floral still life with an expansive topographical panorama. It offers an almost worm’s-eye view of a clump of colourful wildflowers – poppies, white and yellow daisies, blue veronica – growing by the side of a road. The placement of foliage and flowers has been carefully contrived to allow deep glimpses of the background landscape. The city of Derry is rendered in tiny detail, appearing almost incidental in the left distance. The view includes the city’s first bridge across the River Foyle, built in 1791. The presence of shipping reflects the interest of trade and Derry’s importance as an emigration port.


  • Title: A distant view of Derry through a bank of wild flowers
  • Creator: Andrew Nicholl
  • Date Created: circa 1830s
  • Physical Dimensions: 36.6 x 53.4 cm image; 64.5 x 81.5 x 6.5 cm frame
  • Provenance: John O'Sullivan, Republic of Ireland, Sale, Dublin, Adam's, 29 March 2000, lot 83; Private Collection, 2000, Republic of Ireland, Sale, Dublin, Adam's, 29 May 2013, lot 56; Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, 2013, London/England
  • Type: Watercolour
  • Rights: Parramore Purchase Fund 2015
  • External Link: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/56.2015/
  • Medium: watercolour with pen and brown ink over pencil underdrawing
  • Signature & Date: Signed l.r, brown ink "A. Nicholl. RHA.". Not dated.
  • Artist Country: Northern Ireland, England

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