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Paul Sandby (1731 – 1809), often described as the ‘father of English watercolour’, was celebrated in the eighteenth century for his watercolour landscape views. His work had a profound influence on later generations of watercolour artists, including J.M.W. Turner.

Through his elder brother Thomas (1721 – 98), appointed Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park in 1765, Paul Sandby spent many years in Windsor. Sometimes working together, the two brothers made many watercolours of the Castle and surrounding area, taking in terraces and towers, expansive vistas, and quieter corners and cloisters. These works are an important record of the appearance of Windsor Castle during the reign of George III (1760 – 1820), before major alterations in the nineteenth century.

The Sandbys captured the informality of everyday life at Windsor. By the mid-eighteenth century Windsor was a popular tourist destination, especially as a day’s excursion from London. The Castle grounds were open to the public, and the first published guidebooks offered visitors a tour of the principal buildings. This selection of watercolours follows the sights experienced by the eighteenth-century tourist, allowing comparison with today’s visitor route.

Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

Windsor Castle from the north

Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

The Quadrangle looking west

Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

The ascent to the Round Tower

Philip Jean (1755-1802)

Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

The Mary Tudor Tower