Tintern Abbey, River Wue, Wales, by Dayes. Photochrom print.
A print of the River Wye landing at Tintern by Edward Dayes, 1799; Whitworth Art Gallery
Edward Dayes was born in London in 1763 and studied under the artist William Pars. He began his career as a landscape painter, specialising in watercolours, and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1784 to 1804. He was known for his picturesque views of rural England, often depicting ruins, castles and churches in idyllic settings. Dayes was also an accomplished draughtsman, and his drawings were used to illustrate several books, including 'Picturesque Views of the River Thames' (1792) and 'Picturesque Views in Sussex' (1800). He was a member of the Society of Painters in Water Colours and was appointed draughtsman to the Prince of Wales in 1793. Dayes died in London in 1804 at the age of 41, leaving a legacy of beautiful watercolour landscapes that capture the essence of rural England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.