4_Spring Arnside Knot and Coniston range of hills by Daniel_Alexander_Williamson

Spring Arnside Knot and Coniston Range of Hills from Warton CragDaniel Alexander Williamson, 1863

Daniel Alexander Williamson (1823-1903) was born in Liverpool and started his working life as a draughtsman to a cabinet maker. He soon turned his attention to portrait painting, and exhibited at the Liverpool Academy. After some years, he abandoned portraiture in favour of landscape painting, and became an ardent follower of the Pre-Raphaelite style. The minute detail and vibrant colours in his paintings show his ability to capture the world in the Pre-Raphaelite manner. He worked for some time in London but ill health drove him back north where he lived almost as a recluse in the Lancashire village of Warton. During this period his paintings became much more impressionistic, almost visionary, and were painted for a few loyal patrons. During his lifetime, he was little known to the public as an artist, but his body of work is considered important and several of his oil paintings are in UK public art collections, including National Museums Liverpool.


By Daniel Alexander Williamson (1823 - 1903) (British) Born in Liverpool, England. Dead in Broughton-in-Furness, England. Details of artist on Google Art Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • When looking at the background of the painting, what did you notice?
  • What three or four words did you use to describe the atmosphere of the painting?
  • When you imagined yourself into the painting what did your fingertips touch?
  • How did you feel about being in the painting?
  • Has your opinion of the painting altered in any way after doing this guided noticing exercise?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art