At the time of Cox's visit, Aberystwyth was a small town, with a medieval castle, a theatre, and newly opened Assembly Rooms. Its wealth derived principally from herring fishing and the export of lead.
The present watercolour shows the sweep of Aberystwyth Bay, lined with the Regency stucco boarding houses of Marine Terrace, taken from the point where a pier was built in the 1890s. In the distance rises the hill of Penglais, which today is crowned by the University of Aberystwyth and the National Library of Wales.
Cox's technique is remarkably confident in the present work. Rather than pencil, the point of the brush was actually more instrumental in its construction and the resulting impression is one of freshness and spontaneity.
1. N.N. Solly, Memoir of the Life of David Cox, London 1873, p. 43
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