Williams was the son of a house-painter in Merthyr Tydfil who showed early artistic talent, prompting the local ironmasters to pay for him to study at the Royal Academy; before settling in Rome in 1827, where he lived for the rest of his life, he painted some impressive pictures for his patrons in Wales. This watercolour shows Cyfartha Castle, the mansion of the ironmaster William Crawshay, who owned the Cyfartha ironworks in the valley below. It was built in 1824 at a cost of £30,000; the Merthyr ironworks, which would have lit up the skies at night, could be seen from it in the distance. The Castle and its park now owned by the local council.
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