The Procession of Cristna
Watercolor and gouache, heightened with white gouache, with gum arabic, some scratching out, on paper
7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (190 x 266 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund
In the summer of 1825, Danby traveled through the mountains of Norway and sketched the terrain. Afterward he remarked, "These kind of scenes are better in pictures than reality, and faith I own I was heartily sick of them." Nevertheless the Norwegian landscape haunted him for years, informing a number of later works, including the present drawing. This sublime fantasy has been speculatively named for Cristna, a lost poem by Danby that he referred to as "no more than a romance." Lacking an extant narrative, the interpretation remains mysterious: Nordic rocks loom over an exotic caravan, dwarfing elephants and a faceless throng of travelers.