Out of the mist

John Dalkin

Solihull, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

The famous “Perseus and Andromeda” fountain at Witley Court, Worcestershire, England.
Seen before the autumn sunshine burns off the early morning mist, creating an ethereal scene.
The fountain is “fired up” every hour and the central jet of water shoots over 30m (100 feet) into the air.

A hundred years ago, Witley Court was one of England’s great country houses, hosting many extravagant parties. Today it is a spectacular ruin, the result of a disastrous fire in 1937.

The vast and rambling remains of the palatial 19th-century mansion are surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens – the ‘Monster Work’ of William Nesfield – which still contain huge stone fountains. The largest, representing Perseus and Andromeda, which has been restored, was described as making the ‘noise of an express train’ when fired.

Before 1846, when William Humble Ward (later first Earl of Dudley) inherited Witley Court, the land surrounding the house was laid out in the English landscape style of the mid-18th century. As part of Ward’s transformation of the estate, he called in the leading landscape designer of the time, William Andrews Nesfield, whose skills in designing intricate and elegant parterres were complemented by his great ability as an artist and engineer.

Artwork Comments

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