|When exhibited at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1800 the picture was accompanied by the following verse:|
How awful is the silence of the waste,
Where nature lifts her mountains to the sky.
Majestic solitude, behold the tower
Where hopeless OWEN, long imprison'd, pin'd,
And wrung his hands for liberty in vain.
'Owen' is probably the Welsh prince Owen Gogh, who was imprisoned from 1254 to 1277 by his brother in Dolbadern Castle. Turner depicts a bleak landscape with a solemn brooding atmosphere. The figures in the foreground are dwarfed by the immensity of the mountains.