This view of the River Colwyn is taken from the west, looking towards Moel Hebog, in the distance. Varley visited Beddgelert on a tour of North Wales with George Arnold in 1798/9, and after that date made a number of idealised views of the bridge. A larger version was sold at Christies in November 1993 for £5,980. This what one collector described as an exquisite "sublime" work, and a little gem.
Varley is one of the most important figures in English Watercolour history, whose character and influence left a lasting mark on the watercolour school. He became a drawing master following a brief period as assistant to J.C.Barrow. Varley first exhibited at the RA in 1798, and was part of the Monro circle by 1800. He was a founder member of the O.W.S. in 1804, and taught many leading artists including Cox, Linnell and Turner of Oxford.
In his later years his work became less topographical and more compositional, and he was always experimenting with the medium of watercolour.