This picture shows a man fishing beneath a willow tree, to his left there is a gazebo, further to his left there stands a statue of an eagle and a stick back chair. Originally the picture was pasted into a Victorian scrap album with the heading ‘A Seat at Herwood in Essex’. The house is not visible in the picture and the location has yet to be identified.
During the 1780s Charles Barrow was among a number of artists commissioned to record the house and the surrounding estate at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, London. Horace Walpole acquired the villa in 1748 and over the following half a century he transformed the building into a ‘little Gothic castle’ and filled it with a remarkable art collection which included a magnificent Roman eagle. We contacted the curators at Strawberry Hill and they replied to say that the eagle was kept in the villa and was too fine a piece to be displayed in the grounds of his estate, so unfortunately the location remains a mystery.
A collection of watercolours by Charles Barrow of Strawberry Hill can be viewed online at the Yale University Library website under Digital Collections.