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ngl ish artist s have mad e a unique contribution to the art of watercolor painting. In no other Western country has t his very attractive medium been used so cons iste ntly . o r for works of s uc h stature. as in England betwee n 1750 and the present d ay. In this ge ne ral survey of t he whole peri od , Graham Reynold s, for merly Kee per of Pain tings and of Prints and Draw ings at the Victoria & A lbert M useum, discusses the paintings of over 100 a rtists including the well-know n watercolorists s uc h as Cozens, Girlin , Colman a nd De Wi nt. as well 35 artis ts who are equa ll y k nown for t heir wor k in ot her media - Gain sborough, Turn e r , Con stable, Sa rgent, He nry Moore . The ' 40 illu strations, 64 in color, show the wor k of these a nd lesse r- know n art ists and re veal the versatility of th is medi um , so the read er will be introdu ced to its use fo r ill ustrati ve caricature a nd portrait ure as well as to the fi nest examples of trad it iona l landscape wa tercolo rs.

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JAC K ET FRONT: Hills and River (detail) by Thomas Ginin . T H E TRUSTEES OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM . JAC K ET BACK :

The Artist 's W ife by Ambrose

M CE v oy. T H E TATE GALLERV, LON DON.


ENGLISH WATERCOLORS


ENGLISH WATERCOLORS An Introduction Graham Reynolds

NEW AMSTERDAM NEW YO RK


Copyright Š Graham Reynolds 1950, 1988 First edition 1950 This revised edition first published in the United States of America, [988, by New Amsterdam Books of New York, Inc. by arrangement with The Herbert Press Ltd, London Reprinted '989 New Amsterdam Books 171 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 Designed by Pauline Harrison Printed and bound in Hong Kong by South China Printing Co. Ali rights reserved. ISBN

0-941533-43-3

Frontispiece: EDWARD LEAR Choropiskeros, Corfu (Fig.lI2)


CONTENTS

Forevvord

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The origins of English vvatercolour painting Paul Sandby, l .R. Cozens, and the eighteenth-century watercolour painters

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l

The eady nineteenth century Girtin, Turner, Cotman, Cox, De Wint, Constable, Bonington, and the Exhibiting Societies 46 2

3 The later Victorians and the Modems l .F. Lewis, Rossetti, Whistler, Wy ndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland I23 List of Illustrations

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Notes for Further Reading

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Index of Artists

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FOREWORD

Th is s urvey of the Englis h watcrcolou r or iginated in the Fcrcns Fine

Art Lect ures of the Un iversi ty of HulL which r gave in Scarborough in 1949. They were first published in ' 950, mu ch in the form in which Ihey were delivered . In revising the text fo r republication I have taken adva ntage or the growth in knowledge and interest in the su bject which has been so marked in the last three decades. In particular I have profited from the

grea tcl' understa nd ing which has been rcached on the place of the Victorians in the development of t he art . The choice of illustrations has been varied and substantially in creased, with a large proportion in colour. With these changes the present revised version aims to give an up-to-date account or its subject , whilst keeping to its original purpose or providing an introduction to this most national branch or

,rt . GRA HA M REYNOLDS

6


The origins of English watercolour painting Paul Sandby, l .R. Co zens, and the eighteenth-century watercolour painters I

HE sphere of walCrcolour drawing, or painting. as it is variously called, is one to which English artists have made a uniq ue contribution. In no other European country has th is attractive medium been used so consistently. or for works of such high significance. as in England between the middle of the eighteenth cent ury and the present day . Yet. in 3ft especially. nothing is made of nothing. and the achievements of the English school rest firmly upon, and spring out of, the general development of European art. They afC related to that history in two ways: both because the medium, watcrcolour, is a unique one, imposing special problems and with distin ctive qualities and excel lences of its own; and also because the English school of water~ colourisls has been predominantly concerned with depicting landsca pe: and of course landscape art was in 1750 no new discovery. Some comment about the early usc of the medium of watercolour, and also about the state of landscape painting in the yea r t 750, which is approxi mately the date w hen our national school of watercolourists began, is therefore a desirab le prelude to its history. The cha racteristic which difTerentiates water~ colour is, of course, that it is not bound together with oil. Therefore, when used purely and alone, it is transparent: the paper or other medium on which it is spread when diluted with water glows through it. Sometimes, however, it is used in conjunction with, or exclusively as, 'body colour'

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or 'gouache': that is, opaque white is mixed with it, and the colour is notlransparenl. Watercolou rs in one form or another have been used from t he earliest times in Europea n art, whether alone or with body colou r, for book illumina tion or portrait miniatures. Fresco and tempera paintings arc more akin to watercolou r than oil painting in their tcclmical qualities. Watercolou r drawings Oil paper were produced by. amongst others. Durer and Van Dyck; and ma ny scvellteenth-cc:ntury Dutch artists such as Breughel. Savery. van Avcrcampand OSlade used t his medium. It was Ilot therefore a completely new and revolu t ionary process that our art ists were developing in t he midd le of the eighteenth century. At the S<1me lime as th is developmen t in England the Dutch school of naturalistic land ~ scape in watercolour was stil l flourishing, and a similar topographical school was arisi ng in Switzerland to record the sublimities and beau t ies of Alpine scenery. Two widely divergent types of landscape pa inting were current in the mid eighteent h centu ry; the Italian type of ideal landscape and t he type of naturalistic landscape which is characte r istically Dutch. It was the ideal landscape which had the highest prestige in England. The names of Nicolas Poussin, Gaspard Poussin. Salva tor Rosa and Claude Lorrain were held in almost equal reverence among collectors and connoisseurs; the works of these artists were engraved; their pictures, and

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ENGLISH WATERCOLOUIlS

prints after them, were avidly bought. SoefTcctivcly was Ihe market combed for the paimingsofClaude, Ihal 10 the presenl day this master can only be studied properly in English collections. The admiration became in fact a cult; gardens were laid oul 011 Claudean principles (Fig.51), and romantic novels interspersed with scenes inspired by salvator Rosa. Travellers 10 romantic scenes were instructed to see in them the raw materials for landscape compositions. Nature must be corrected to conform with these princi ples. But although some aspect of the Italian seventeenth-century vision of Nature dominated English taste in the eighteenth century, these four representative artists are to some extent complementary and even antithetical. Claude was the mOSI beloved. In his paintings the lighl of sunrise or of sunset plays idyllically over a wide pl ... in, tingeing with its glow the top of a tall tree and the figures and flocks in the foreground. The landscape is generally a wide one, given the form of an amphitheatl'e, and closed in by a distant range of hills which are not near enough to appear rugged or disturbing. The feeling of antiquity is brought ncar by a classical building which frames in one side. As in a stage-set there is on one side a foreground tree, on the other a ruin: and so on till the distant range of mountains is reached. All is peaceful. and charged with serene poctic feeling. The individual elements of the composi tion arc taken [rom the country round Rome, bUI they have lx.'Cn rearranged and arc nOI topographically' exact. BOlh the feeling of Claude and the feeling of Englishmen toward his pictures 3re marvellously su mmed up by Keats when he wrote, on seeing Claude's Enchatl(ed Castle, of magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn

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sa lvator Rosa was the complete foil to Claude. He portrays the clefts and crags of the mountains at close hand, peopled by bandits. Storms, trees riven by lightning, and Narure in her wildest and most turbulent moods arc his s ubjects. He appealed to the awakening interest in I-uggedncss and what is now called romantic scenery; and in consequence, eighteenth-cell tury travellers to the Lakes or to Italy record ill their diaries and letters, with wearisome reiteration, that they have 'witnessed scenes to which only the pencil of Salva tor Rosa could do justice'. The landscapes of Nicolas Poussi n and his nephew Gaspard Dug hct, called Poussin, fall between these two ext remes of mood.. Those of Nicolas Poussin were designedly classical: he favours the full light of day, arranges his landscape generally as a fitting background to his figures, parallel to the frdme of the picture, and selects a noble tree, a fine cloud form; nothing in them is me.lIl or merely accidental, and Ihe backgrounds arc designed to provide a fitting setting to the classical or biblical legend he is illustrating. Gaspard, on the other hand, is man! purely a landscape painter and approaches more nearly to the 'romantic' sentiment of Salva tor Hosa, without rcaching his full extremes of ruggedness. All these artists tend to formalize or heighten the natural features of the Italian scene; hence the terms 'idea l landscape' and ' land scape compositions' which arc frequently applied to their works and are orten their only names. The Dutch, and the artist.s of northern countries generally, on the other hand, sought to transcribe Nature without idealizing her; their pictures 31-e, or were thought in thceightccn lh century to be, literally faithful to the scenes they depict. For that reason they were held in less high honour by the critics of the time; the virtuosi do not dilate 011 Ruisdael or Hobbema as they do on Claude or Salvator


T HE O RI GINS 0" ENGLISH WATt:RCOLOUR PAINTING

Rosa. But at least one section of English artists took their inspiration from the Dutch School; and against Wilson 's devotion to the Italians may be SCt Gainsborough's early love for the Dutch. There arc two OIher important influences which enter into the formiltion of the English school of watercolour. T he fi rst of these is the land scape, or perhaps it should rat her be called t he townscapc, of Canaletlo. Canalelto, the foremost Venetian landscape painter of his day, was actually in England from 1746 until 1754 or 1755, and the paintings and even more the drawings he mad e here had a far.reachi ng eO路cc!. Hc, as no one else, could enli ven the topogr'lphical scenc wit h the play of light over the buildings and thc wellplaced , colourful groups of elegantly dressed figures. His drawings have an unusual animat ion of outline, and though they were not tinted but carried out in pen and wash, their effect can dearly be traced throughou t the early history of English watercolour. The other clement to be remembered is the ex istence of a tradition of topographic;!1 draughtsma nship, fou nded by Wenceslaus Hollar, a native of Prague, who was brought to England by the Ea rl of Arundel in the mid years of the seventeenth century. His style is virtually that used by Durer at the end of the fift eent h centu ry. He handed on his manner of precise outline and timid tinting to Englishmen such ,lS Fran cis Barlow and Francis Place, and their successors were s upplying materi<ll for the engra vcrs when a new impetus arose and lran<;formed the native landscape art. It is not possible to account fully for the remarkable Ooraison of English watercolour painting from 1750 onwards if the enormous pressure of informed taste in eighteenth-cen tury England is under-estimated. Artists were obliged 10 make some attempt to fashion drawings which were

acceptable in their clients' eyes. Those who had not travelled would be familiar with the work of the greiltlandscapc painters th rough engravings; for the English engravers of the mid century, Vivarcs, Woollett and Byrne, engraved their most popula r pla tes after t hese masters. But a number of the fou nders or the school had made the journey to Italy, either in search of self- improvement or as t rilvelling draughtsmcn in the entourage of a lord or gentleman undertaking the Grand Tour. On their jou rneys they saw the magn ificent spectacle of the Alps and the subtle atmospheres or lhe Roman Ca mpagna ; and in Rome they saw original paintings by the rulers of taste. There too they met the nourishing and active colony of German and Sw iss artis ts who were bringing a new, cosmopolitan accent into land scape com position and aClUa lly experimenting in the bolder use ofwatcrcolour and body colour. The Dutch innue nce which is to be traced unmistakably beside the Ital ian innuence, infiltrilted in a somewha t different way. Gainsborough imbibed it , withou t ever leaving his country, through the loving study of DUjch paintings. But. ror the main ca use, it must not be forgotten that the geographical proximity of Holland to England. and the artistic vacuu m which existed in this cou ntry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centu ries, had drawn many Dutch and Flemish Mtists here. They wcre not always of the first C'l libre, but they fait hfully rcnecled the prevai ling mode of lopogr.lp hical drawings of a somewhat dry and archaic sty le. It was suc h men who satisfied the demand for views of gentlemen'S scats and pros pects of towns which were, apart from portraits of men and dogs, the only artistic commodity required of them in this country. There can perhaps be no entirely adequate explanation of why, after its sporadic usc in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth

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ENGLIS H WATE RCOLOURS

centuries, walercolour becJ me, in t he mid eight · ee nth centu ry, t he vehicle of an independent national genre, with iI continuity all its own, One of the more Clllel'taining attempts to account fo r th is phe nomenon relates it to t he order whic h Catherine the Grea t of Russia pl.lced with Wedgwood in t770 for a vast dinner service, This was destined for her palace 'La GrenouiJIeric', and was known as the 'Green Frog' service from the device p laced upon alJ its clements. It was her intention 'to improve the taste and polish the manners of her subjec ts withou t corrupting their hearts'. She decided that t he most d irect path to this elevating goal was to have each of the l282 pieces which made up the set adorned wi th a d iffercnt vicw of the British countryside, Wedgwood did his best to fulfil this order by copying existing engravings of ruins, gentlemen'S scalS and wild scenery. but cou ld not find enough to prov ide so many subjects. Accordingly he employed draughtsmen to record scenes of which he could find no prototype. The historian or t he 'Old' Watercolour Society, J.L. Roget, bel ieved that the demand created by this undertaking had led to the flowering of the national water· colou r school. Unfortunately for the credit of the theory, there was a strong contingent of water· colouristscstablished before 1770, when the order was placed; and the supplementary draugh tsmen employed by Wedgwood were not conspicuous for their talent. Already in the 17300 that indefatigable chronicler of British art, George Vertue, had ad mired t he 1.1Ildscape dr.lwings of William Taverner (Fig. I ). He was Procurator·General of the Arches Courl at Canterbury, but an avid and renowned amateur artist, and an early exponent of landscapc in water· colour and body colour. However his influence was limi ted by his diffidence. Farington was told of his idiosyncrasies by Samuel SCOII, who him!>Clf

made effective usc of the medium in the 1740s: 'Taverner had much quaki ng abl. shewing his pietures, which raised their reputation, , , It was very difficult to obt.lin a sight of his pictures. He promised Scott to shew them to Sir Ed ward W.llpole, who went with Scott, but were of some pretext refused admittance. Scott resented this affrOn( & their acquaintance ceased: A more pub lic and convincing start to the tradition can be found in the activities of t he brothers Thomas and Paul Sand by. T he elder brother, Thomas Sa nd by, began his professional career as Military Draughtsman in t he Ordnance Office. Since the academ ic t heory of the time relegated landscape to a low ly place in the hier· archy of types of art, far inferior to historical and mythological painting and only less disreputable than genre painting, the patronage of the armed forces was of vital importance in encouraging and sustaining the teaching and practice of land· scape in the mid eighteenth century, It was the need to study and record the terrain, the lie of the land, w hich led to the establishment of the post of Drawing Master at the Royal Military Academy. Woolwich, to which Pa ul Sandby succeeded in 1768. Sim ilar needs Jed to the invi tat ions which Captain Cook issued to various artists, including John Webber (Fig.8), to accompany him on his voyages to record the discoveries. T homas Sandby made an early start on his duties as Military Draugh lsman by recording aspects of the Duke of Cumberland's Culloden campaign of 1745 and 1746 in Scot land , mak ing a nuent usc of watercolour in his draWings. But from mid career he mainly restricted the application of his talents 10 architectural design and landscape gardening, He was appointed the first Professor of Architecture on the foundation of the Royal Aeademy in 1768, Many of his later watercolours depict the newer buildings of London seen with


THE ORIGINS 01' ENGLISH WATERCOLOUR PAINTiNG

the eye of a practising architect; these drawings were often embellished with lively groups of figures added by his brother Paul Sandby, as is the case with The Pia:za, COl/em Garden (Fig.2). Paul Sand by, who was eight years younger, had been taught by his brother Thomas. He made a far more extensive and varied use of watercolour and body colour throughout the century and from that circumstance deserves, if any single individual docs, the title 'Father of the English watercolour' .

2:

I)aul Sand by was an incorrigible and fervent experimenter; he was the first Englishman to use the newly found technique of aquatint; he was constantly trying new ways of making wlours, and his earlier ambition lay in oil painting. It was his urge for experiment which led him to pay equal allention to pdinting in gouache and in pure watercolour. In style he was an eclectic. He never travelled outside England, Scotland and Wales, but of course he was fully aware of the fashionable enthusiasms and closely in touch with

T homas Sandby Th(' l'w::a, COl'mE Gardm

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ENGLISH WATE KCOLO UKS

the world of prints. At times he made formal Italia n com positions in the manner of Claude or Poussin; bu t for preference he confined himself to the more literal transcription of scenes in t he places he knew and tra velled to. He had no taste fo r the excessively rugged, the mountain cliffs of Rosa, but the perspective schemes ofCana le tto often sway him. and he is not averse to combining w ith them effects of sunrise or sunset. Taken all in all, he recalls Dutch as much as Ita lian models; he is a sort of disciple of Claude worki ng in t he vernac ular. But this very eclecticism resuhed in his form ing a hi ghl y ind ividual s ty le; he esca pes classification with other schools and becomes w holly Englis h . He shows his natural temper in hi s choice of scenes. in w hich antiq ui ties arc combined with gentle rusticity; and he is as interested in the figures in the foreground as the landscape itself, d elighting in the gesture.. of his maidservant a nd the attitudes of the gardeners working beside his Bayswater studio (Fig.3) no less than in the groups of builders. soldiers and laundresses out side the local inn. The Old Swan (F;g.4). Again, in point of style. Sand by's watercolours and gouaches are drawn. not painted. that is to say we are conscious in the m of the linear e(fect. the gay. swirling. elegant rhythm of the out line. Sand by has brought his calligraphy into harmony with colou r just as he has brought his various models in draughtsma ns hip int o a harmonious conception of composit ion . In his landscape Sand by sets out to give a matter-of-fact rendering of what is actually before his eyes. Towering a nd gnarled trees and effects of atmosphere enter into his compositions (Fig路S), and he is always delighted with the fig ures in Significant action that he can introduce in his pictures. These figures indeed do much to counteract the Slight trace of an unnaturalized foreignness

3 Paul S<l nd by The Artist's Studio. 51 George's ROIl'. Bayswolcr

w hi ch may be sensed in some of his pictu res; for they are the brothers and siste rs of the English men and women in the works of Hogarth. Hayman and the group of admirable book- illustrators worki ng at thesametime. Paul San d by. thell. may be ca lled the father of English watercolou r painting because he was t he first of our artists systematically to combine colour a nd drawing in any cons idera ble body of work; and he gives evide nce of his paternity not only in his work but in his contacts wi t h the art of his time. He touched the art world at every point; he was act ive in the negotiations which led to the fo und ation of the Royal Academy; he bought paintings secretly from Richard wilson to keep him from starving; he e ngraved drawings of Greece made by William Pars. a you nger and r ising draughtsman . Drawings of Warwick by C.1I1aletto were in his collection. besides prints from all the Roman masters of landscapc. He owned the watercolour A Sandpit at Woohvich by will iam Taverner (Fig. I). and had many pupils among the coming


T HE O RI G I NS 01- ENG I. ISH WATERCOLOUR PAI NT I NG

generation of watercolourists. of whom the most prominen t was Michael Angelo Rooker. The period immediately follow ing the maturity of Sand by that is to say. the 'sixties. 'sevemies and 'eighties of the eighteent h cemury - is, for all that it lacks the glamour of the grealest names in watercolour painting, second 10 none in attracti vencss. A collection of these eighteenth-century drawings, with their flat washes, ca lm light ing, logical compositio n and prevailing tones of greyblue and grey-gree n is among the most pleasant adornment of any gallery or private collection . Thcy have done mu ch to form or confirm the q uasi-idy ll ic impression of the eightccn th century as a halcyon age of Palladian architecture, elegant costume. cou rtly behaviour and orderliness. The great increase in the number of artists who now turned their attention to this bran ch of landscape painting is partly to be explained by the growth of public exhibitions of the works of living artists. The first such exh ibition was held in England in 1760. and its success ensured new patronage for painters in all genres. The late eightee nth-century watercolour painters of landscape may be divided imo two main groups: the domestic and the Ita lian. The domestic group comprises on the whole those who did not travel in Europe, though there are exceptions to this; but the Italian group con tains only arti sts who went to Italy and caught a reflex of Italian scenery and ilaJjan stylc at first hand . Where there is such a galaxy of eq ual talent , omissions arc difficult and unfair. The charming compl etcness of the ' domestic group' may, however, be adequately illustrated by the work of Michael Angelo Rooker, Thomas Hea rne, Edward Dayes and Thomas Mahon, junior. Michael Angelo Rooker started life as plain Michael Rooker, the son of an accomplished engraver; but the nickname' Angelo' stuck to

him and is now part of his accepted name. As a topographical engraver his father had made plates from draWings by Paul Sand by and , whether through this connection, or in another way, the younger Michael Rooker beca me a pupil of Sand by's. He begins to emerge as a student of art and an exhibitor of drawings shortly before 1770, His father's connection wit h the stage - he was principal Harlequin at Drury Lane - had enabled him to get employment for Michael Rooker as a sce ne- painter at the Hay market Theatre. He is thus o ne of that inlel'csting group, includi ng de Louthcrbourg, Da vid Cox and David Roberts, who found that the broad effects required in stage scenery werc no hindran ce to the composit ion of watercolours on a small sca le and with ample detail. In his choice of loca le for his drawings he chose by preference countTY houses and provincial tow ns. places w hich even in his ow n day were thought sleepy and slow. He liked t he mellowness of red brick and the play of su nlight upon it, and lingered with equal content on the details of the quiet town life or the gree n leafiness of the cou ntry, He had the ta ste of his age for ruins (Fig.6), but no predilection for ruggedness or stark grandeur. His well -known wa tercolou r Bury Sf Edmunds: the Nomla ll Tower in the Victoria and Albert Museum is justly one of his most fa mous works and approaches perfection as a ripe record of an agri cultural town almost unchanging in its maturity, [n Rooker's drawings are traces of the Dutch taste and of Ca naletto, but no discernible Italian influcnce. Thomas Hearne may be classified with the domestic group because of his obvious affin ity of feeling and technique with Rooker, but he did at least have one jou rney overseas when he went to the Leeward [sland s as draughtsman to the Governor. Hi s employer, Sir Ralph Pa y ne, was

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ENG I. ISH WATEIlCOI.OUIlS

7 T homas Hearne The Court HOllse and Guard House '" the town of Sf John's, Antlsua

8 Jo h n Webber View on Krakatoa Island. "ear the Straits of Sundo

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9 Th o mas Danie ll Rums of the Palace of Madura

not conspicuous for the liberal nature of his views. He designed a pair of golden tongs to hold any letter or parcel handed to him by a native servant. The effect of his edict that the black servants should not wear shoes or stockings, but h,1Ve thei r legs rubbed daily with butter so that they shone like jet, C<1tl be seen in the foreground figures, one rolling a barrel of sugar, in Hearne's watercolour The Court /-louse, St John's Antigua (Fig.7). Such exotic experiences were among the attractive adventures which might befall the budding draughtsman in tha t age of colonial expansion. John Webber accompanied Captain Cook on his third voyage to the South Seas from 1776. He

witnessed his captain's death at Hawaii in ' 779 and made a number of later watercolours of the sights he had visited (Fig.8). Thomas Dan iell went to India with his nephew William, spending the years from 1785 till ' 796 preparing for a monument,, 1series of engravings, Oriental Scetle,y{Fig.g). George Chi nnery, having followed t hem in India, spent the last years of his long life in Macao (Fig. 10). But travel of this kind did not usually affect the voyager's style in the way that a visit 10 Italy could, by direct precept and the company of other artists; and in fact Hearne's style is even more precise and unperturbed than Rooker's. He was born a year or two before Rooker, emerged into public notice about 1765, and after his foreign

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ENGLISH WATERCOLOURS

10 Geo r ge Ch i n ne r y A River Scene

voyage settled down to a long life of drawing the places of interest in Great Britain, many for a well-known publication called Antiquities of Great Britain, to which he was still contributing as late as 1807. Hearne had not so forceful a sensc of colour as Rooker, but he had almost fanatically good taste, and his work never falls below a consistently high level. His sty le represents the eighteenth-century formula at its most delightful, like Augustan prose or heroic couplets. It is hardly surprising that he was a favourite artist with Richard Payne Knight and Sir George Beaumont, who were the somewhat conservative arbiters of late-eighteenth-century taste.

The style of Canalctto is fully anglicized in the draWings of the two sons of Thomas Malton, who were Thomas Malton, junior, and James Malton. The father lectured on perspective, and his son Thomas taught Turner that subject. Turner himself became Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy. The Maltons were architectural draughlsmen, but figures and incidents play an equal ly prominent part as the architecture in their draWings and are welded together with it into a picture which perfectly renders lhe town scene of the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Towns with a specifically Georgian inlere~ such as Dublin and Bath, no less than London, were


TH E O RI GINS OF ENG LI S H WA T ERCOlO UR PAIN TI NG

I

W illia m Taverner A Sandplt at Woolwich

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ENG LI SH WATbRCOtOURS

" Thom .. s M .. lton, j unior The North Front of5t Paul's

13 J .. mes Miller Cheyne Walk, Chelsea

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THE ORIGINS OF ENG LI SH WATE RCO LOU R PA I N TI NG

their favourite subjects, and it is interesting 10 note that they preferred 10 draw the classical arc hitecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in contrast to the almost excl usi ve interest of many of their contemporaries in the antiquarian, the Gothic or the picturesque {Fig. I I). Another painter of this domestic group is Edward Dayes whose work begins in the 'eighties of the eighteenth century. His distraught dnd inequable temperament led him to take his own life at the age of forty-one, and hi s drawings arc uneven in q uality , bu t at his best he is very good indeed. Ginin was his pupil. and the early sty les of both Turner and Girtin start off from his. Indeed , the con nection is so close that it is sometimes hard to telt whether a particular drawing is in fact an early work by Turner or Dayes. The d ependence of these greater names on him sometimes leads to Dayes being regarded merely as a teacher; but he deserves recognition in his own right as the author of some of the finest drawi ngs of the last years of the cent ury. He was an ambitious and skilled figure painter, fully ali ve to the colour and elegance of what was, in costume, a most gra ceful epoch (Fig. 12). How rich these decades were in draughtsmen of the highest class is furth er exemplified by the topographi ca l drawings of James Miller (Fig. I)), of whom all that is known is that he exhib ited views of London and its neighbourhood from 177) to 179 1. His watercolours arc assured in drawing, rich in colour, and redolent of the leafy greenness which were to be found e"en in a metropolis at thaI lime. Richard Wilson, the foremost British landscape painter in oi ls in the midd le years of the eighteenth century, did not approve of watercolour. Thomas Jones recorded that he taught his pupils to make drawings with black and white chalk on toned paper. He thought that tinted drawings 'hurt the

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15 James Gil l ra y Cymon and Iphegema

Eye for fine colouring' . Perhaps Thomas Gainsborough felt si milar fears, si nce the greater proportion of his landscape drawi ngs arc mad e in monochrome on a coloured ground . But \"hen he did employ watercolour the effect is to enhance the poetica l feeli ng of his compositions (Fig. 14). Although often drawn in his studio by cand lelight fro m mosses, twigs, lumps of coa l. mirrors and sim ilar material s they ha ve a truth of sentiment wh ich is as moving as truth to Nature. As much as his oil landscapes, his dra wings justify Constable's eu logy: 'On looki ng al them, we find tears in our eyes, and know not why'. Thomas Row land son had no inhibitions ei ther about method or subject-malter. He signals the appearance among the wa tercolourists of the satirists of the late eighteenth century, of whom Giliray is, beside Rowlandson himself. the best known.

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ENG LI SH WATERCOI.OURS

'1 Paul Sandby Morning: View 011 the Road lIear BayswllIer TUrT/pike

20


1 TH E ORIGINS OF ENG LI SH WAT ERCOLOUR PA INTING

5 Paul Sa ndby An Ancient Beech Tree

"


ENGLISH WAT ERCO l OURS

Gi llray did have his more genial momcnts, as his richly comical Cymon and Iphegenia reveals (Fig. I 5). Bu t he was usually a savage politica l foc. The most bitter satire, s pari ng neither Royalty, sex nor ministers of State. was at th is time d isseminated by e ngraving and took in its stri de the comedy of manners. To these ephemeral outpourings Rowlandson contributed as much with drawings as by des igns for the engra vers. Suc h was his facility that he found no difficulty in repealing his drawi ngs sw iftly, oft.en with deft alterations; and he even manufact ured duplicates by a process of damping paper and laying il over t he outlines of a master draWing. He had two manners, a sla pdash, unrdlecti ve one, and a 'swell' one; and w hen he was disposed to conce ntrate he could produce draWings of grea t excellence in a manner quite distinct from that of the contemporary topographical watercolourists. Rowlandson 's whole appeal rcsts in the outline of h is drawing. His colouring is often perfunctory or unpleasing, and resembles t he washes put over hand-coloured engravi ngs. But it is in the line that he displays his great vitality, his overpowering gusto and joy in life. In th.11 line we may sec an echo of the Italian draughtsmen. such as Ca naletto, just as in his subject matter we see a continuation of the type of humour which was Hogarth's spec ific contribution to English art. By reason of his imme nse range, Rowlandson is invaluable to the social historian; there is scarcely any side of the many-face ted life of his ti me of which he did not give a characteristicaUy distorted im pression in his own terms . If we wish to savour the atmosp here of t he pleasure gardens of Vauxhall when popular entertai ners were performing to t.he most fas hi onable society we can sense it from Rowlandson's Vauxhall Gan:lells. ex hibited at the Royal Academy in 1784 (Fig. 16). Or if we are curious about the appearancc 22

of Spring Gardens, an add ress which became so well known for its ex hibitions of the Society of Artists, its neighbourhood and its cl ientele are acutely obs;crved in Rowlandson's The Mall, Spring Garde'ls (Fig.17). His art usually verges on caricature, not always of the most refined kind . Yct at timcs he su.rpriscs us by supplying a sym pathetic, t hough entirely personal and idiosyncrati c view of the cou ntryside. As a friend of the banker Ma tthew Michel he was a frequent visitor to Cornwall ,md he made many draw ings of the scenery around hi s house ncar Bodmi n (Fig. 18). The sccond important group of watercolour draughlsmen in the eigh teenth century comprised those who broadened t heir knowledge of art and scenery by making the journey to Haly. As has already been made plain, foreig n influen ce in English art was no novelty. Il ca me through the collections of connoisseurs, and through the dissemination of prints. A number of artists came to England. bri nging with them t he methods of pain ting curre nl in Italy or Switzerland . The Florenti ne Francesco Zuccarelli was so mu ch admired Ihat he became a foundation member of the Royal Academy . His landscapes arc decorative, in sharp contrast to his English contemporaries who were attcmpting to render I he truth of natural appearances. He is therefore Qne of the eigh tec nth-century artists castigated by Joh n Constable as a mannerist who 'strayed imo the vacant fi elds of idealism' (Fig. 19). Phili p James de Louthcrbourg was trained in Germany and France before sett ling in England in 177 1. He Iwd a considerable success with his stage designs and his sellse of the theatrica l is carried over in to his walcrcolours of picturesque sce nery (Fig.20). However, the acqu iSition by British painters of a knowledge 01 fo reign art by seek ing it out abroad was a com paratively rarc occurrence beforc


T H E O RIG I NS OF I::NGlISH WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

. 6 Thon';1s Rowland~ o n Vauxhall Gardens

18 Th o m.n R(J w land~o n 80dmm Moor 2)


ENGLI SH WAT ERCOLOU RS

6 Michae l ' Ange lo' Rooker Chapel of the Greyfnars Monastery, Winchester


T H E OR I G I NS OF ENGLISH WATERCOLOUR PAINT I 'IG

12 EdW,1rd D,1yes Buckingham Houst!, 51 James's Park

25


ENGLISH WA'I'EKCOLOURS

'20 Ph ilip d e Louthc rbo urg Cou:racl on Iht-Uugwy, I/ear COl/way

the middle of the century. Hogarth, in his xenophobia, deliberately eschewed any such contacts. Sir Joshua Rey nold s, whose visit to Italy dales from ' 749, and Richard Wilson. who followed in '750, were two of the earliest cightccnth--century English art ists to sct out for Italy in search of self-improvement. Even so, few watercolour draughtsmen at this time made the journey on their own initiative. Most of those who did go weill as draughtsmen in the retinue of some wealthy man making the Grand Tour or as the emissary of an antiquarian society. One of the earliest and one of the best was J . Skelton (Fig.21), \路... ho has only recently been rescued from oblivion, and who arrived in Rome at the end of '757. William Pars went to Greece as a draughlsman for the Society of Dilettanti in ' 764-6,10 Switzerland in 1771, and was later in Rome where he died in '782. Pars was able to arouse inlerest in comp.:lrativcJy flat and featureless landscape a kind of excellence which we find in the next cen tury in Dc Winl ~ and is at the same time one of the first of English draughtsmen 10 respond in the Romantic manner to the Swiss and Alpine mountain scenery. His real feeling for

the drama of ruins. whether Classical or Gothic, is apparen t alike in the draWings he made of Greece or Rome (Fig.22) or at home. and that feeling was skilfully carried over by Sandby in Ihe aquatints he made after Pars's Greek drawings. John 'Warwick' Smith has long been supposed to owe hi s nickname to the circumstance of his patronage by Lord Warwick, though it may come from his birthplace ncar the vil lage of Warwick in Cumberland. He was in Rome from ' 777 to 1781 and again in (78). He shows the marks of his travel by an interest in Italian methods of composi ng landsc,lpe and in an enhanced sense of colour (Fig.2)). There arc glimpses of some of these expatriate artists in the diary in which Thomas Joncs recorded his life in Italy from 1776 till 178). Jones himself W.1S something of a pioneer in developing the open-air sketch, in which the immediate view from a window or balcony is the subject. rather than a carefully chosen place of natural beauty (Fig.24J. He made many sketching expeditions with William Pars and John 'Warwick' Smith, as well as with J.R. Cozens and Francis Towne. On one of these excursions ncar Naples Jones had just rema rked that it only needed some bandits to make th~~ scene a perfect picture by Salva tor Rosa when he and Towne tu rned the corner to be confronted by three ugly-looking Shirri cutting up a dead ass. Town e immediately retreated, say ing that he relished s uch scenes ill a painting but not in Nature. As might be expecled from this anecdote, Francis Towne lived a retired life, sold few of his dra wings, and was almost forgotten till the researches of I he presenl century resurrected him as a man of unusual but definite greatness. It was his journey through Switzerland to Italy which gave his style its distinction both by the overwhelming effect of the Alps upon his fantasy


TH E OR IG I NS OF ENGLISH WATERCOlOUR PA I NTING

and the lessons he learned on how to express their effect. His mode of drawing. marked by a strong pcn outline filled in with Oat colour washes, owes a great dea l to the Swiss topographica l prints; indeed, sometimes those drawings arc like enlargements of a section of a Swiss print of a glacier or mountain massif. But whatever its origin his style has a force which is particularly fittcd for appreciation today. with its elimination of details and inessentials, and its concentration on the main structure of confessedly moving scenery (l;igs25, 26). He did not confine hi mself to Swiss and Italian scenes. but also drew panoramic views of the Devonshire scenery am id which he was

born; and like so many others of his and subscq ucnl generations he sought. not unsuccessfully, to find in the English Lake District a little Alps. John Robert Cozens is an artist whose accomplishment, springing though it docs from the body of work already considered , absolutely outstrips ii, and makes him onc of the greatest European artists in any med ium. His carecr and st y le are so bound up with those of his father, Alexander Cozens, and his patron. Will iam Beckford, that it is necessary to prefix some words about these two interesting men 10 an account of John Robert Cozens.

26 Fr.1ncis Towne Ariccia

'7


ENG LI S H WATE RCOLOU RS

14 T homas Gainsborough Village Scene with Horsemen and Travellers


THE O RI G I NS OF ENGLIS H WAT ERCOlOUR PAIN TI NG

17 Thomas Row landson Entrance to the Mail, Spring Gardens

'9


ENGLISH WATERCOtOURS

Alexander Cozens was born, presumably of English parents, in Russia , and brought with him from the East of Europe a knowledge of Oriental art and probably more occult learning besides. He was in Rome in [746 and became a fashionable teacher of drawing in England in the 1750s. When William BecHord, son of the millionaire Lord Mayor of London, required tutors regardless of expense, Mozart was chosen to instruct him in music and Alexander Cozens in d rawing. A warm friendship sprang up between lhe teacher and the pupil. Cozens implanted in him his fondness for Oriental studies - an impulse which later bore fruit in Beckford's remarkable romance ofVathek. He is also suspected, with no lillie probabi lit y, of having initiated Beckford into dabbling with black magic. England was then at t he threshold of the Romanti c Rev ival. A generation or more before Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley, it was becoming the custom to give the freest rein to the expression of emOlio n. Scenery of the sort painted by Claude and SalvatoI' Rosa was recognized as the prime source of those fe elings of ecstasy, wonder, or awe, which were valued in proportion to their intensity. Beckford, who was born to extreme riches, and gifted with an especially sensitive nature, deliberately cu lti vated his senSibility to the utmost. His drawing master, Alexander Cozens, combined a simi larly enthusiastic temperament with the eighteenth century's fondness for systems. Doc of his systems, which brought him equally renown and execrat ion, was a method of helping the artistic fantasy in the composition of ideal landscape by a sort of rapid doodling with blots. His own drawings, whether suggested by this method of free association or by direct abstraction from nature, emphasize his fo ndness for rugged, mountainous scenes, and are execu ted in a subtle scheme of blacks and greys. For once it is probably )0

not misgu ided to compare them to Chinese or Japanese landscape painting, for he may well have seen s uch origina ls in his travels. Alexander Cozens endowed his son John I{obert Cozens with morc than all his imagination and all his executive skill; and by applying these gifts to the scenery he saw on his visits to Switzerland and Italy the son entered the front ranks of creati ve art. The second of those visits was made as part of the train of Wi lliam Beckford , and w hat the artist created was fully in accord with the romantic intentions of his patTon but controlled and moulded into the intensity of art. The mean s he employs arc of the simplest. They arc far morc akin to the nuanced monochromes of Claude than the polychromatic drawings of Sand by and Rooker. J. R. Cozer.lS uses tones of blue-grey, a yellow or more definite tint, but makes no attempt at local truth of colour. Atmosphere and form are what he aims to interpret, and he succeeds magnificently in that cndeavour. Whether it is the view from the terrace of the Villa d'Estc across the level fields of the Campagna, or the sublimit y of the inhospitable mountai ns w hosc craggy summits arc lost in mist, Cozens conveys the fullness of his response. He is a great and universal artist, because in those drawings he is perfectly expressing the feelings of an age, purged of all their fashionable dross and in their naked impressiveness. Claude has helped to point the way, and he is neither forgotten nor slaVishly followed, but assimilated in J.R. Cozens's evanescent misty atmospheres, j ust as the way shown by Salvator Rosa is assimilated in Cozens's comprehe nsion of the terrifying solit ud es of great mountains. He is so much more than a topographer. When John 'Warwick' Smith draws a mountainous scene which is picturesque or even impressive, his is the report of a somew hat unimaginative traveller passing through such scenes. But Cozens fell the


THE OR IGI NS

or

ENGLISH WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

28 Joh n Robert COl.CIIS Near Chiawl1l1a il1lhe GriSOI1S

mountains, as he felt the plains, w ith all that awakened intcnsity, the sense ofa new emotion, which great sce nery gave to the recently opened eyes of the imprcssionable eigh teen th-century traveller; and aided by the formal language which his father had discovered, and spurred on by Beckford's own enthusiasm, burning at fever heat, he immortalised those sensations and those visions of the romantic traveller (Fig.27). In his vision of Na t ure the human being is dwarfed by the hills, as in Near Chiavenna in the Grisons (Fig.28) or by immense and inaccessible barriers

erected by man, as in The Castle of Sf. Elmo, Naples (Fig.29). John Robert Cozens lost his reason three years before hi s life ended at the age of forty-five. But although he did not come much into personal cont,1ct with the next generation of watercolourists his greatness did not stay unfruitfully embedded in his own works and their rdatively few collectors. His drawings were given to Turner and Girtin to copy and thus provided a starting point for the next achievements of the English watercolour school.

31


ENG LI S H WATE RCOLOU RS

19 Fra ncesco Zucca rel li Market Women and Callie

32


T H E O RI G I NS O F ENG LI SH W ATERCOLOU R PA I N TI NG

2 1 J o na lha n S ke lton take Alballoand Casul Gal1Jolpho

33


ENGLISH WATERCOLOUKS

the ev id cncc of such drawings as The Asylum for Ihe Deaf(Fig.) 1), long attributed to him, he is credi ted with having 'plagiarised Hogarth , but missed his deep 1I10ra l'. Certainly this lively group of itinerant musician s and beggars is closely modelled o n Hoga rth's satires of London street life. Similar modes of satirica l observat ion werc continued into the nineteenth century by Edward Francis Burney in such crowded and exuberam compositions as The Waltz (Fig.J2). It con veys the impression of licentious abandon felt when the dance was first introduced, s.ali rized by Byron in 1812: Round alllhe confines orlhe yidded waist The strangest hand may wander undisplaced The lady's in return may grasp as much As princely p.lUnches olTer to her touch

30 Robert Dighto n A Windy /Jay Scene outside thl.' Shop of Bowles, the Prlll/sell;-r, III 51 1'(Jul's Churchyard

In the formative years of the English tradition watercolour was more extensively employed upon landscape. Bu t some cightccnth-cent ury artists used the medium for figural composition. In par. ticular the all路 pervasivc prcvalcnce of sa tire in both literature an d art ensured that dissenting voices would al so be hea rd amongst th e wa tercolourists. Thcy frequent ly supplied colou red drawings for the engravers. The method by which these were broughllo thc allention of the London public is amusingly portrayed in Robert Dighton's scene outside t he shop of Bow les thc Printscller (Fig.)o). One of thc many artists who s upplied materia l for the print makers was John Collet. On 34

For other artists ca ricature was an occasional alternative to their more usual interests. Samucl Hieronymus Grimm was born in Switzerland, a child of the Stut'tll ulld D rang movcment. After settling in Engla nd in t 768 he found substantial occupa tion amongst patrons anx ious for antiquarian or topographical drilwings, amongst them Gilbert White of Sclhourne (Fig.))). But he too fe lt impelled to cast a critica l eye on the excesses of con temporary fashion. and his The Macarotli (Fig. 34) could pass as a direct ca rica lure of Richard Cosway , the foppish but monkey-like miniaturi st. Other al'lists selected more elevated themes which might profit from the veneration felt for the higher ranges of art in academic circles. Samuel Shelley is now remembered only as a miniature painter of slightly lesser renown than Richard Cosway; however, a s ubstantial proportion of his exh ibits at the Royal Academy were 'fa ncy figure subjects' in wa tercolour. He fi lled many


THE OR IG IN S OF ENGLISH WATERCOLOUR PAINT I NG

3 1 John Collct Tht Asylumfor Iht Deaf

32 Edwil rd Thl.' Wallz.

': rillld~

Hurney

35


ENGL ISH WATE KCOlOU KS

22 Wi ll iam I'.us A uiewof Rome taken from the Pinc;o


THli ORIGINS 01- liNGLISI-l WATFRCOLOUR PAINTING

23 John ' Warwick' Smilh Stonework in the Colosseum

37


ENGLISH WATERCOLOURS

33 Sam u e l Hie ronymus G rimm Mother Ludlam's Hole, 'lear Farnham, Surrt"y

sketchbooks with designs illustrating a wide range of literature including Homer, Anacreon, Tasso, Goldsmith, and Goet he. The contemporary romance, in the form of Johnson's Rasse/as, provided him with the theme of the Prince of Abyssinia, his sister and others 'conversing in their summer rooms on the banks of the Nile' (Fig.3S). It was the reluctance of the Academy to give due weight to such performances, and his feeling that watercolour painters were unfairly discriminated against, which led Shelley \0 play an active part in the formation of the exhibiting Society of Painters in Wa ter-Colours in ,804.

38

The importance of this body, under its more usual name of the 'Old' Watercolour Society, in shaping the course of the medium w ill become apparent in what follows. Richard Westall's choice of themes was also closely linked to the requirements of book illustration. His sources included Shakespeare, t he Bible and Thomson's The Seasons, and Rosebud, or the Judgement of Paris (Fig.36) with figures dressed in a fanciful reconstruction of historical costume illustrates a poem by Matthew Prior. J.e. Ibbetson. whose subjects included t he humours of sailors on shore leave and a reconstruction of

35 Sa m ue l She ll ey Rasse/as and his sisler [>


39


ENGLISH WATERCOtOUKS

24 Thomas Jo nes Lake Nemi

40


. - - - - - - - - - - --,..--.

,

25 Francis Towne The Source of the An't'lron

4'


36 Ri c ha rd Westall Rosebud, or the Judgt'mt'nt of Paris

the scene at Captain Cook's death, achieved a more up-to-date embodiment of late-cighteentncentury sen timent in The Sale of the Pet Lamb (F;g 路37)路 The artist w ho tried hardest to recapture the terribilita of the tragic sty le. in his drawings as well as in his paintings, was Henry Fuscli. Whilst his drawings of women with fantastic coiffures exude a disturbing eroticism, his scenes from

4'

the Eddas and the drama are conceived in the Grand Manner appropriate to the highest type of art. O!dipus cursillg his son Polynices ill ustrates a scene in Sophocles' O!dipus Coloneus (Fig.38). Polynices has come \0 beg for his father' s blessing in his war against Thebes, but CCdipus repulses him as a hypocrite and turns him out as a beggar: Go to ruin. spurned and disowned by me


:17 Julius CaCSilr lbbc lso n The Saleoflhe Pel Lamb

38 li c nry Fuscli Oedipus cursing his son Polynices


ENGLIS H WATE RCOLOURS

27 J o hn Rober t Cozens Moull/allls i'l IIJ(' {s/(, of f:lba

44


TH E ORIGI NS 0 1' ENG LI SH WATER COLO U R PAINTI N G

29 Jo hn Robert Coze ns Thl: Castll: of St FIIIIO, Naples

45


The ea rl y nineteenth century Girtin, Turner, Cotman, Cox, De Wint, Constable, Bonington, and the Exhibiting Societies

2

A

REAIlY, by the time of Cozens's death in

1797. a great number of new artists were coming 10 the fore, who in their fertility, variety and origi nality wcre to add greatly to the lustre of the English school of walcrcolour painting. The fi rst important newcomer after J .R. Cozens is Thomas Girl in. He was born ill 1775. the same year as J.M.W. Turner, and received his artistic education from Edward Daycs. The drawing of Dayes .11 its best is the culmination of that type of eighteenth-century drawing. of Dutch origin, in which atlcntion is paid to the rendering of local colour and of which the keynote is neatness of architectural draughtsmanship and elegance of fashionable figure drawing. The early work of Thomas Girtin fits right into this tradition ,md shows how ably he imbibed his master's instruction . It is irrelevan t to the prcsent purpose to rccord how Dayes is said to havc quarrcllcd with his clever apprenticc because he was j calous of his rapid ma ste ry; how he is said to havc put Girlin in prison, and after Girtin's early death to have cast aspersions on his moral c haracter in thc short biograp hical notice which he wrote on him . What is relevant is that Dayes transmittcd to Girtin a craftsmanship of a very high order; but il wa:Âť not in the manner or idiom he learned from his master that Girlin made his origi nal contribution to the development of watercolour drawing and fashioned his own finest drawing.

After leaving Dayes, Girtin found the customary occupa t ion for onc of his profcssion and accompanied an antiq uary, James Moorc, on a tour of thc picturesquc sccnes and ruins of Scot la nd and Wa les in the capaci ty of draughtsman. This period of his career coincides with a rathcr harsh transition in his style; we may call it his 'cold' period, for the foregrounds of drawings of this time arc grey and the background bluc, and the tones do not blend warmly. He was also to come under the innuence of Cozens through an unofficial institution important in the hislOry of English watercolour and known as the 'Monro School'. Dr Monro was the doctor who attcndcd Cozens in his mental illncss, and he was a keen amatcur of thc English watercolourists. He had a numb('r of d rawings by Cozcns, and hc cncou ragcd young artists to come to his housc in the Adelphi in the cvening to copy these and other drawings, for the fcc of two shilli ngs ,md sixpence per night. By fM the most cclebr,lIed of the copyists who carne to Dr Monro were Girtin and Turne r. It used to be supposed that the Doctor institutcd his syste m out of sheer benevolencc to the young artists, .1Ild dcsigned it to improve thcir stylcs. The truth seems to be, however, that he sct thcm principally to copy drawings in thc possession of other collcc tors simply becausc he wanted rcplicas of thcm for his own collection. To meet his requireme nt s a sort of mass production was org,mized whereby one artist madc t he pencil


THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

outlines, another put in the first tint, and so on, until the copy was completed. Be that as it may, the effect of the 'Monro School' was to place before Girtin, and before Turner, the masterpieces of Cozens's Italian travels, and it is only nccessary to look at their maturer work to learn how they profited from this opportunity. Another source for the enrichment ofGirtin's style was his personal taste for the more spirited Italian draughtsmen of the eighteenth century. He copied architectural subjects and fantasies from CanaiellO, Marco Ricci and Piranesi, and the mark of this admiration is 10 be found in the vitality of his line, the vivid calligraphy of his outlines, as much as in his mastery of composition. There wCI'e two main trends in the watercolour

land scape of the early English school. One branch aimed at an approximation to local colour: Girtin's early work under the tutelage of Dayes falls into this category. The other branch of eighteentbcentu ry English drawing follows the longerestablished tradition of monochrome drawing, though no longer remaining monochrome itself. The effect of the drawing as a representation of nature is brought about in this case by the contrast of tones within a fairly restricted gamut of colours. Cozens, up till this time the greatest exemplar of t he laller category, evoked the whole majesty and mass of Alpine scenery in varying tones of blue tempered with grey; he composes as it were in the key of grey-blue. Girtin in his mature style practises dr"wing in this same sense; and

39 Th om .1S Girlin Kirkstall Abbey EI't'ning

47


I::NGLISH WATERCOLOURS

34 Sa muel Hi eronym us Grimm The Macaroni


THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

grey forms an important undertone in his colour scheme as a necessary bond between the colours he uses. But in place of the cold grey-blue of Cozens he com poses in a warmer key of grey or brownish grey. The difference in tonality accurately reflects the gulf between the melancholy and unstable imagination of J.R. Cozcns and the wann, sanguine temperament of young Girtin. Girtin did not often draw mountainous scenery, but in his drawings of ruins he arranges the composition SO that the buildings tower mountainously above the draughtsma n , or, as in Kirksrall Abbey ( 1~ ig.39), are seen with the even ing light fa ll ing th rough the broken t racery. The detai ls of his hand ling equally show his loving rega rd for the crumbling surface of old stone or brickwork: the brush nickers here and there, rounding ofT what once was square and giv ing the appearance of age to every nook and cranny in a wal l. In less antiquarian mood he delighted to draw rolling country. Occasionally a cloud in the manner of Salvator Rosa spirals upward from a flat landscape reminiscent of Koninc k . T hese wide expanses, typical of the countryside he loved, arc diversified by few features, but are spread out beautifully by his power of composition and the interesting play of his line (Fig.40). The same penchant for nat country is to be found in Dc Wint, who learned it from Girlin. Girtin was also the first of a line of artists Edridge, Prout. Bonington, BOYS, Callow - who fou nd a new topographica l in terest in drawing the streets of Paris. He went there in 1801, the year before his tragically early death at the age of twenty-seven, and in the drawings he made of the narrow streets with their vistas of buildings with regular fa~adcs is to be found the quintessence of Canaletto's teaching to the English draughtsman and the start of a new fashion in topography. All is accurate and fully realized in form, but it is

free, of vigorous line, and in no way monotonous. To treat of Turner after Girtin is inevitable. Their courses ran side by side in the 1790s, when indeed it might" at one time have seemed t hat Girtin had the advantage over Turner, and chance added many resemblan ces to a friendly rivalry which closed only with Girtin's death in 1802. They were born in the same year and worked together in Dr Monro's house when they were each promising young men less than twenty years old. Indeed, so closely were they linked together in the minds of their contemporaries t hat when Faringlon was making a note in his diary a bout thei r common employment by Dr Monro, he condescended to record the egregious pun that Ginin's mother was a 'Turner' by trade! As their biographies wcre parallel, so was the development of thei r style during its earliest phase: there are drawings of the period which have give n plenty of scope for discussion on whether they arc by the young Girtin or t he young Turner. In the d rawi ngs produced fo r Dr Mon ro there is plenti fu l scope for confusion, particularly as Gi rtin is said to havc made the out lines and Turner to have applied washes to them. But by 1795 or 1796 their ways diverge: each has acquired his distinct and original individua lity. Turner was working somewhat in the manner of Hearne, Rooker, and Dayes; but before developing his more advanced and revolutiona ry sty les he had raised the traditional eighteenthcentury met hods to new heights. The d rawings of Got hic architecture which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in the 1790S are carried out in cool tones of yellowish green and greenish grey; but for all the exquisite preciSion of the rendering of architectural detaillhere is already a greatness of imagina tive conception in the whole which makes them the best topographical antiquarian drawings as yet seen in the English school.

49


ENGLISH WATERCOLOURS

40 Tho ma s Gi rl in Hills mId Riuer

50


T H E EAR LY N I NETEENTH CENTU R Y

43 J.M.W . Turn e r Folkestonefrom the Sea

5'


ENGI. IS I! WATEaCOI.OURS

The comparison of similar careers is one of the most illuminating services criticism can ofTer, and so before Turner's life passes beyond the possibility of suc h a comparison it is well to rcfer to some of the essential differences between him and Girtin. Both Girlin and Turner have been hailed as greal originators - indeed for a long time they were regarded as the primitives of English watercolour. The ground which has already been surveyed in Chapter One shows how little basis there is for such a claim. But it is true that each artist had immense originality and struck out a new path. What is not genera lly recognized is that Girtin went forward by stepping backward: he reverted to the met hod of drawing in tone which is the characteristic of the seventeenth century, of Claude and Rembrandt. He is the last protagonist of that method in English watercolour. Turner, on the other hand, took the method of the more colour-conscious eighteenth-century watercolourists and infused it with his own growing enthusiasm for pure colour and bright light. Neither style was preferable to the other. but the difference exists and should be comprehended; especially as in regard to colour it was the lead of Turner which was followed by Cotman, Cox and t he succeed ing masters of English watercolour. One other essential difTerence emerges frOIll lhe comparison of Gi rtin with Turner. Turner is, early and late, obsessed with the minutest dcta il. As Ruskin pointed out, there is no spot of colour in his work which is not modulated. In the drawings of his earl iest phase. as in the styles w hich succeeded to it, he leaves no broad patches of which we can say 'the whole of that is one colour' . But he docs not destroy the breadth in effect of his drawing by this cOQcern with its parts. Girtin, on the other hand, as soon as he had emancipated himself from the tutelage of Da yes, did leave relatively immense areas of his

52

drawing stained with one uniform wash; and w hen he docs get down to detail he draws it ca lligraphically, that is, impressionistically. And in this matter of breadth of washes many later exponents of watercolour Cotman, Varley, De Wint found it expedient to fo llow Girtin, whereas Ihose who fo llowed Turner were able to satisfy Ihe Victorian taste for detail. The second phase of Turner's watercolour style is one which is not generally so well recognized. It emerges in about the year 1800, and is characterized by a subdu ed harmony of colouring yellowish brown rather Ihan greenish grey in

4 1 J .M .W . Turner TheOldRood

PassofStGothard


T H E EARLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

key and shows in design evidenl marks of the study Turner was giving allhis lime 10 the works of Wilson in his efforts to master the science of composing his pictures . Turner's first visit to Ihe COnlinenl in 1802, when he travelled in France and Switzerland, slirred him profoundly . The excitemenl which he fell in Ihe presence of the sublimities of Alpine scenery is expressed in his sketch of the Pass of 51 Gothard . The constricted vertical composition and nearly monochrome washes convey the verliginous terror of the pass (Fig.4 [). After his first visit to Italy eighteen years

later, Turner sct out on his return 10 England in January 1820. The Monl Cenis Pass was blocked by snow and the coach overturned at the summit, so that he and his party had 10 walk for the enlire descent. He painted a record of this battle with the clements for his faithful patron, Walter Fawkes (Fig.42). Advancing his oi l painting and watercolour drawing in tandem, Turner proceeded LO abandon his earlier inhibitions about the unrestrained use of colour. In this phase of his art he produced an amazing series of jewel- like, highly finished dr.lwings in whi ch t he blues and reds glow with

42 J.M . W . Turner Passageo! Mom Cems: Snows/onn

53


E.NGL I SH WATE. RCO LOURS

44 J . M . W . Turner Buming of the Houses of Parliament

>4


T H E EARLY N I NETEENTH CENTU RY

45 J .M . W . Turner Looking OUI to Sea, Stranded Whale

55


ENGL I SH WAT ERCO Io OURS

intense brill iance of light. These drawings, more than any, illustrale Turner's attention to minuteness of detail. The hillside and the sky are equa lly composed of a tapestry of vary ing colours to represent the eITect oflight renected and refracwd from them. Turner is obsessed with light and colour; but his instinctive memory and consciousness of form never desert him. Turner was t he only member of t he English watercolour school who, starting as a watercolourist, reached the highest distinction as an oi l painter; in his work the t wo techniques interacted and each suggested developments in t he other's sphere. It was no doubt his experience with oil paint and the possibi lity of minute grad uations in it which led T urner to discard the broad washes of traditional watercolour for st ippli ngs and hatchings in which the white paper peers through the dots of colour and achieves the greater brill iancy. In these drawings he has left the paths of accura te or, as he though t, 'mere', topography for the marc generalized approach. Now, w hen he d rew Rauen or Folkestone (Fig.4J) it was not a photographically exact" copy of the scene before him, but a representation true to the genius loci combining salient and recognizable features wi t h picturesque embellishments, the vehicles of the artist's own feeling. In ad di tion to being a generalizer, Turner also aimed at the universal: in quest of the whole geographica l trut h, as it were, he made those fre nzied lours dow n the Rhine and t he Moselle, to Venice and Sw itzerland; he had to sec everything, to make scanty sketches in the notebooks he always had in his hand, and from them to work up, by means of his amazing visual memory, and inexhaustible repertory of forms, this series of full-dress draWings. The drawings themselves were often intended for engraving, in books with such tit les as Picturesque Views olllhe Soulher路n Coast, Picturesque View .. in 56

England alld Wales, The Rivers of France, and so on; and by his own personal supervision and instruction Turner t rained a generation of engravers capable of rendering the nuance and tone of his most elaborate and subtle composit ions. Finally we come to t he last phase of Turner's style, that rightly or wrongly called 'impressionistic', when his love of colour almost overcame his love of form and he seems to make abstract and, at fi rst sight, unintelligible transcripts of the visible world. At first sight. because on close inspection there is seen to be both form and meaning in what he has drawn: he has caught the scene as it might n ash upon the sight on a brilliant summer day. The interiors of Petworth arc amongst the best-known examples of thesc laler series, and there is somet hing in the method which suits it better to the rendering of the intimacy of a domestic interior than a searching inquisition with a lens of perfectly adjusted focus. From the same period also come Turner's most resplendent views of Ve nice burni ng brightly beneath its revealing s un, and at this time too he delighted in delineating t he Swiss valleys swimming in mist, with castles perched on inaccessible crags. Turner was then, as he had always been, a Romantic, and as happens with many great imaginative artists, the freedom of his Romantic ism grew more unrestrained as he grew older. The burning of the Houses of Parliament in 1834 provided him with an ideal su bject. He was prone to re present scenes of disaster, and here was one happening before his own eyes. II was symbolic of lhe threat to the constitution, of which he had long been a prophet of doom. At t he same time it was a magnificent display of red and yellow name again st a blue sky; II cosmic firework display which brought out all his s kill in the watcrcolour sketches he made of it (Fig.44).


TH E EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

[n the last years of his life he read Thomas Beale's The Natural History of lhe Spenn Whale and the shadowy shape of a whale is sometimes to be discerned in the almost abstract patterns of colour which constitu te his latest studies of the coast (FigAS). The first yea rs of t he nineteenth centu ry wit nessed the emergence of an institution which organ ized most of the leading watercolour painters, canalized the available patronage, and acted as a strong formative influence on the future development of the English sty le. This institution was the Society of Painters in Water-Colours, known, to prevent confusion wi th sim ilar rival bodies which were set up later, as the 'Old' WaterColour Society. It was inaugurated in 1804 by a group of watercolour painters who were dissatisfi ed with the t reatment accorded to their wares in the Royal Academy. They com plained that t heir watercolours were hung alongside the inferior oil paintings on crowded walls and in a bad light; further, that the title of Royal Academician, by the rules of the Academy, would not be conferred on those who painted only in walercolours. They also had faith, which proved fully justified, in the prospective profits 10 be ma de from the rich patronage of the new merc han t and nabob class. So the Old Water-Colour Society was formed and held its first exhibition in 1805. with a membership of sixteen artists. The Society was never an open societ y: it kept to a small , closed number of exhibitors and replaced them by inv itation. Apart from a setback due to the financial stress of the Napoleonic Wars it was uniformly prosperous, and it was fairly representative of English watercolour till about 1850, when the challenge ofPre-Raphaelitism found it, like many another established academic institution, not flex ible enough in its ideas to meet a change of taste.

Although, or because, they had taken such pains to segregate watercolours from oil paintings, it was from the very beginning a tenet of the Soc iety'S that wa tercolours could vie with oils in depth and richness of colour and in brilliancy. Following the pract ice of the time, the d rawings were exhibited framed, like oil paintings, with heavy gilt mouldings right up to thei r ed ges. It was not till after 1850 that the white mounts. wh ich ou r modern taste prefers to set off watercolours, began to oust these heavy gilt frames from favour, and then only gra dually. In sp ite of the quite separable individuality of each of the members of the Old Water-Colour Society, a homogeneous style was to be discerned in its exhib itions. II was a sty le different in many ways from that of the eightee nt h-century topograph ical d raughtsman's, an d e'lually diffe rent fro m Cozens or Turner. In composition the hand of Gaspard Poussin, Claude and the other seventeenth-century landscape painters lay fa r more heavily upon the work of this group. In colour, while the artists strive after rich ness and complexity, they have, in their competition wi t h oil painting, often caught its dee p tonali ty and its varnish brown. Sir George Beaumont's brown tree and old Cremona violin would not be out of place in the works of Glover or Barrett, Hills or Robson. T he combined efTect of dark tonality with formalized p ictures'lue composition gives a certain heaviness to the productions of the early members of the Old Water-Colour Society which contrasts greatly wi th the lightness of Rooker, Pars and Hearne, to name but three of the predecessors whom they desp ised as old-fashioned makers of feebly-tinted drawings. But when due allowance has been made for the change of outlook many worthy d raughtsmen are to be found in the lists of the Old Society, and the majority of endu ring ea rly nineteenth-ce ntury reputations

57


16 J oshua CriSla ll A Girl Peeling Vegetables


T HE E ARLY N I N ET EENT H CENT U RY

50 Ro bert Hills A Village Snow Scene

59


ENGLISH WATERCOLOUI(S

were made possible by the encou ragement and recognition afforded through the Old Water-Colour Society - for instance, those of Varley, Cox and De Wint. An artist senior to these among the found ers of the Old Water-Colour Society was Joshua Cristall. He was a pproach ing forty years of age when the Society was founded, and bad lived a life of great hardship pervaded by the determination to practise art at all hazards. Subsequently he became President of the Society, but his ca reer was never a prosperous one. Cristall was an accomplished draughtsman of the human figure. His work in this field ranges from sympathetica lly observed countryfolk (Fig-46) to elaborate compositions; the Fishmarket on the Beach al Hastings which be exhibited at the Old Water-Colour Society in 1808 (now in the Victoria and Albert Museum) is a complex arrangement of over thirty figures in a crowded but not confused composition. Some of his subject mailer ran parallel to the poetic tastes of the Sketc hing Society of which he was a member, and he was one of the earlier British artists to allow his imagination to wander with classical shepherds in Arcadian fie lds (Fig .47). He also painted the contemporary landsca pe and went on sketching tours in North Wales and the Lake Distri ct . It is said that Crista II's wife critic ized his work on the ground s that it was insufficiently finished, but that, after trying to adjust himself to her views, he return ed to his former broad manner. It is his broad manner which now forms the basis of the continuing appeal of his work. Cristall is the first to bring into watercolour that squareness and concentration on the basic fa cts of form which is an antic ipation of Cezanne a nd Cubis m. In my opinion, we may find in him the basis and origin of Cotman 's firs t and greatest style. Cristall ha s a less allractivc sense of colour and a certain

60

47 Josh ua Cristall Arcadimll..andscape Ivith H('rd~m"'1 by a River

heaviness; but he had a fine sense of structure and used wa lercolour to express it in an origina l and legitima te way. John Glover, who was also a founding member of the Old Water-Colour Society, was, in contrast, very successful both as an artist and as a tea cher. He was th e so n of a small far mer and spent h is youth in the fields of Leicestershire; but his ingrained fon dn ess for art could not be ga in said, and he graduated from the post of writing-master in a free school to become a teacher and artist on his ow n account. Glover d eveloped ambitions as an oil paint er, and in his composit ions in that medium we can read clearly enough his desire to emulate Claude and Gaspard Poussin . He had paintings by Cla ud e in hi s col lection and was called - although scornfully when Constable used


THE EA RLY N I NE T EENTH CENTU RY

the sobriquet - the 'English Claude'. In his watercolours the same influences are easily di scerned, but the ambition is less striden t and he is a sober and truth ful unfolder of the picturesque and the romantic in English scenery . One of the identify ing characteristics of his sty le is the use of 'split brush work' wh ich he invented as a means of renderi ng foliage quickly and successfu lly. This consisted in separating the hairs of his brush into a number of fine points so that by o ne brush stroke he could represent a number of leaves, as it were, flic kering in the breeze. He is also to be recognized by his ex traordinary facility

in rendering smooth water, a faCi lity which he used to great effect in the sunset composi tions which flowed naturally from his fondness for Claude. These tricks become mannerisms, and so prolific an artist could nO! fail to repeat himself and often be below his true standard ; but at his best he brings a fres h and interesting element into the English watercolour school (Fig-48). :BOlh Glover and Cristall were gifted in the drawing of mountai nous scenery, especially that of the Lake District ; but whereas Cristall reduces the hills to nat, angu lar forms , in Glover's draWings they arc softly rounded with gentle, unangular contours.

48 John Glover Landscape WIth Catt//'

6,


ENGL I SH WATE RCO I.OURS

52 William Havel l Garden Scene all the Bragan za Shore, Harbourof RiodeJaneiro


- ---- - T H E EAR LY N JNETEENTH CEN T U R Y

.54 Jo hn Sell Colma n Greta Bridge


ENG LI SH WATER CO tOUR S

And he was able to develop. W hen he courageously we nt to Tasmania in I B) I . allhe age of s ixty- four. the contact with a ncw la ndscape infused a more spectacu lar clement into his style. George Barret was. like Crista II and Glover. approaching his forti eth year when he too became a founding member of the Old Water-Colour Society. He is known as George Barret, j unior. to avoid confusion with his father, w ho was a wcllknown landsca pe painter in his day and a founda t ion member of the Royal Academy. The son, working at the beginning of the nineteenth ccnt ury. shows the full cha nge in ideas and ideal s which had comc over the craft of watcrcolour drawing. of a dreamy. poet ic disposition, his art was latte rly so closely modelled on that of Claude that it becomes almost an imitation: a lmost. but not quite. for the artist 's quiet si ncerity has mad e his own the classical composi tion irradiated by the glow of the sett ing s un , the soft ly tinted cool e mpt iness of the sccnc. He had a natural apprec ial.ion of these more romanti c hours of the day and he wrote this typical passage in his book on The Theoryalld Practice of Water-Colow路 Painting: After the sun has for some time disappeared, twilight begins gradua lly to spread a veil of grey over the late glowing scene, which. after a long and sultry day in summer. soothes the mind and relieves the sight previously fatigued with the protracted glare of sunshine. At this lime of the evening to repose in some sequestered spot, far removed fro m the turmoil of publiCli fe. and where stillness, with the uncertain appearance of all around, admits of full scope for the imagination to range with perfect freedom. is to the contemplative mind source of infinite pleasure. Ba rret's works accord perfec tly with the frame of mind he has expressed in these words. Hi s view of Windsor (Fig-49) is of an ancient castle

seen mistily throug h a grovc. He re-creates the mood ofGra y's ' Elegy in a Country Churchyard' a nd indeed his last work. now in the Victoria and Albert Mu seum , was enti tled Thought s in a Churchym-d - Moon light and was exh ibited posthumously with these elegiac ve rses by the artis t: 'Tis dusky eve. and all is hush路d around; The moon sinks slowly in the fa ding west: The last gleam lingers on the sacred ground. Where those once dear for ever take their rest. Among the secondary artists who. like Cristall, Glover and Barret. e xhibited al the first show of the Society in 1805 were Robert Hills, Francis Nicholson and William Ha vel!. Hills specialized in the drawing of domestic animal life, sheep. cattle, and deer; and he is fairly in the line of distinguished English animal draughtsmen which begins in the seventeenth century w ith Barlow. goes through the eighteenth century to Stubbs. Morland and Ward . and found a later adhere nt in the nineteenth century in Landseer. His sketches (rom the life are carefully studied and full of know ledge and the etchings he mad e of ca ttle and 'groups for the embell ishmen t of Landscapc' were much used by both amateu.r and professional artists. His A Village Snow Scelle {Fig. so} is a variat路ion upon a theme of Rubens, and was so popular that he madc at least three versions of the watercolour. Francis Nicholson, who also showed a t the firs t ex hibition of the ' Old ' Society, was a tec hni ca l innovator. In seeking a method of renderi ng highlights on paper he hit upon the expedient of coaling the surface with a 'stoppingout' mixture based upon beeswax. The large series of views he made at Stourhead show this landsca pe garden. which had been designed to re-create the images of Claude a nd Poussin, in its maturity (Fig.51).


49 George Barrel.junior W",dsor Cast I..

5 1 Fra ncis N ic ho lson Srourhl'aJ.- Thr 8"5/0/ High

Cro.~s


ENG LI SH WATE RCOLOURS

55 Jo hn Scll Colma n The Drop Gate, Duncombe Park


THE EARLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

58 John Sell Colman The Lake


ENGL ISH WATERCOlOURS

William Havell was, at the age of twentythree, the youngest of the exh ibi t ing members in 1805. His work typifies the common ap proach of the members of t he Society: the dependence of composi tion on the seventeent h-century landsca pe painters, the aspirat ion to vic wi th oil paintings, the rich tonali ty of the piece. Havell carried his competition with oi l painting so far, particu larly after a visit to morc cxotic scenery, that he incurred the displeasure of his fellow members through the free use of body colour. This was the criticism voiced about his Garden Scelle on (lie Braganza Shure (Fig. 52) when he ex hibi ted it in 1827. He had made the sketch for iton the way toChina in 1816. Amongst the next generation of landscape painters George Fennel Robson was conspi cuous for the zest wi fh wh ich he rose to the challenge orlarge composi tions framed to rival oi l paintings. Hi s early sketching tours wef(.' spent in the Highlands, w hich the writings of Sir Walter Scott had elevated into a primary source of Romantic imagery. His Loch Coruisk (Fig. 53) shows Robert the Bruce humbled by the sublime barrenness of the scenery, and was ex hi bited wit h a quotation frOIll Scott's' Lord of the Isles': Rarely human cye has known A scellc so stern as lhat dread lake To enter fully into t he atlllosphere of such scenes he had wandered over t he mountains dressed as a s he pherd . with Scott 's poems in his pocket. The success of the original Society of Pain ters in Water-Colours (the Old Water-Colour Society) led to the formation in 1807 or the rival Associated Artists in Water-Colours. T his was relatively shortli ved , but was replaced in 1832 by the New Society of Painters in Water-Colours which cont inu es now as the Royal In stitute of Painters in

68

Water-Colours. These s pecia lized groups played an important part in promoting patronage and in furthering the careers of their members. However, they became exelusive, self-perpet uating bodies, and many highly talented painters did not receive a just measure of recognition from them. For instance, John Sell Cotman is now regarded as one of the grea\"est watercolour painters of the English school, yet. he was subjected during his lifetime to almost complete neglect. The reasons for his lack of success, insofar as th ey ca n be explai ned , lie largely in h is own temperament. He had a manic-depressive disposit ion; wildly elated for a period. he would then be paralysed by the depths of depression. To this example of the supposedly modern artistic temperamelll was .ldded another feature reminiscent of contemporary careers: that is, that his really creative and original work was done over a relatively brief period w hen he was young, and though thereafter from ti me to time he made new and exciti ng discoveries he was never again quile able to renew the first fine careless rapture of his youth. Though this may seem the index ofa modern temperament, it is really the Homantic ge n ius, comparable with the blazing youth of Byroll, Kea ts and Shelley. If the artist of th e eigh teenth ce ntury felt such vagaries of emotion flow ing in them they concealed the fac t as best they cou ld : the madness of J.R. Cozens and of Clare, the poet, may ha ve been occasioned by such a ma ke- up; but in the early nineteenth century t here were fewe r reins 011 sensibility, and the letters of Joh n Sel l Cotman alone give a clear index to his lovable, extravaga nt and wildly unstable character. J.S. Cotman was born in Norwich in 1782; and, ha ving decid ed that he mu st devote himself to art. came to London at the age of six teen or seventeen in 1798. Here he was befri end ed by Dr Monro, and became another in stance of t hat


THE EARLY N I NETEENT H CENTURY

53 Geo rge Fenn el Robson Loch Coroisk and Cuchullin Mountains, Isle of Skye

connoisseur's remarkable flair in choosing promising young men. As were Turner and Girtin five years before, he was SC I to copy outlines and trace drawings. So far as the early formative inOuences on his style can be identified, the strongest is t hat of Girtin, filtered perhaps through that of Edridge. But before his visits to Dr Monro, Cotman had undertaken the hack-work of hand colouring aquatints at Ackermann's Depository. It would be easy to overestimate the effect of this sort of drudgery on a young artist's development - Turner and other watercolourists had coloured prints by hand in their time . But in t he greatest of his original work which he produced four or five years later, Cotman shows such a love of the flat , unmodulated wash, such a precise

control over its edges, and such a delight in the j uxtaposition of bright colours, that one is tempted to trace the origins of that style to this 'Very occupation. And just s uch a predilection may have been strengthened by the sight of Crist ail's watercolours with thei r emphasis on struct ure and angularity. Cotman lived the ty pical life of the young art ist struggling for recognition in t he London of his day. He hawked drawings rou nd the pdntsellers' shops, lived with like-minded companions, went wi th them on sketching tours in the country in the summer, and was a member of a sketching club. These sketching clubs have some import.3nce both as a symptom and a cause of the increasi ngly poetical trend of watercolour painting fro m the


E N G LI Stl WAT ERCO LOU RS

59 Jo hn Va rl ey smmJdIJflfrom Capel Curig


T H E EA RLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

60 J ohn Varle y Hackney Church

7'


ENG LISH WATE RCOLOU RS

year 1800. Girt in had bee n a founde r member of t he club of which Cotman beca me a member in I BoI, and it followed t he very simple regimen of meeting by t urns in each member's rooms, to draw from imaginalion an illustration to a striking passage chosen from the poets. The poets chosen fo r illust ration included Ossian, Thomson and Gray. Such a club provided the perfect counterpan 10 the v isits to Dr Monro: at Monro's t he mechan ical copy ing and tinting of outlines gave training to the hand and exec utive talents, whereas in the sketching clubs niceties of execution were set aside and t he imaginative faculties of t he members were given full play. Cotman's contributions included striking fantasies on such Ossianic subjects as 'They came to t he Halls of t he Kings'. Cotman went on a summer sketching tour to Wales in 1800, and on three successive years to Yorkshire, in 180), 1804 and 1805. T hese visits to Yorkshire were the great liberating experience of his life; in the course orthcm his style developed natu rally into its full originality, and his treatment of what he saw was lyrica lly fresh. On each occasion he stayed wi th the Cholmeleys of Brandsby, a family which had befriended him, and on t he last visit he went farther north also to stay with t he Morritts at Rokeby Park, on the River Greta. The finest of all Cotman's watercolours are connected with this stay of his at the River Greta: for instance, h is Greta Bridge, now in the British Museum (Fig. 54), and h is Drop Gate, Duncombe Park (Fig.55). These are draw ings in w hich everything inessential is ruthlessly supp ressed and yet every nuance of t he scene is there. In them, COlman adjoins to his perfectly controlled washes a deep and viv id sense of colour harmony. And yet, probably beca use of their originality, these drawings did not sell; it was at this stage,

56 Joh n Cro me Landscape with COllages

and at the early age of twenty-four, that Cotman's career began to go wrong. Instead of staying in London he returned to Norfolk, where the local school was making its name, and had recently held its first public exhibition. Its most eminent member, John Crome, mainly worked in oils, but made a few low-toned watercolours in which he applied his affection for the Dutch artists to the East Anglian scene (Fig. 56). Cotman also planned, it seems, to tackle the problems of painting in oil. But the prestige of the Norwich school was one thing. its economic basis quite another. Thenceforward Cotman's means of subsistence were an anxiety to him and became easier only by the acceptance of appointments as drawing master. Yel in the interva ls of hack-work, which was


THE EAKLY N I NE TEE NT H CENTURY

particularly perilous for one of his unstable tem~ perament, he found it in him ,11 times to reproduce the cool. smooth crispness of his Yorkshire period. When he moved to Yarmouth under the patron~ age of Dawson Turner the sight of the sea w ith its animated succession of s hipping led him to crea le The Dismasled Brig (Fig. 57) in which the emotion ca used by the foreboding of disaster is enhanced by the consummate control of the sharp-.edged, nat washes of w3tcrcolour. With the enoour~ agement of his patron he became an enthusiastic antiquarian ; he turned out scores of d raWings of Norfolk churches, and he paid three visi ts to Normandy in quest of early architecture. But at ot her times, when he was conv inced that the

public d id not like his sly le, he tried to paint in a more acceptable manner; then his watercolours fell into the contempora ry heresy of vyi ng wi th oils, and they became hot and arid in colour, na mboyant and artificial in feeling. At length, al the age of[jny~two, he accepted a post as drawing master at King's College, London. He entered on it in a fit of enthusiasm as a chance of escaping from his financial dis tress and of reappearing in the cent re of the British cultural world. But the change did not do as much as that for him ; his duties involved the manufacture of hundreds of drawing copies with the aid of his fami ly, and he was subject to the same acute ups and downs of feeling. Even then,

57 John Sell COlman The Dismasted Bng 73


ENGLI SH WATERCOLO U RS

61 David Cox The Pom des Arts and the Louvre/rom the Quai Conti, Pans

74


THE E ARLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

63 Da,rid Cox Haddon Hall: T he RIVer SlepS

75


ENG LI SH WATERCOLO URS

during the last years of his life he produ ced a mystica l and tempestuous series of drawings of Norfolk scenery, and some watercolours of which both the style and mediu m were a new development (Fig .58). These draw ings were made with a paste medium believed to be derived from rotting flour ; and with something of the luminosity of oil Cotman produ ced serene and penetrating works, apparently for his own eye alone, whic:;h are completely satisfy ing. Cotman might well have been expected to become a member of th e Old Water-Colour Society but was not elected when he applied in 1806. After his retrea t to Norfolk he seems to have intend ed to devote himself to oil painting. At any rate, w hate ver the reason, he lost touch with this and all other representative London artistic institutions. He did not become an associate member till 1825, when he exhibited with the Society for the first. time, and never obtained fu ll members hip. The next important watercolourist of the ea rly nineteenth century to att ract attention is John Varley. He was a fo undation member of the Old Water-Colour Soc iety and one of its most prolific ex hibitors, being represented by no fewer than forty- two drawings in the first of its ex hibitions . In the thirty-nine years in which he was connected with the Society he sent as many as 700 works to its exh ibitio ns. His disposition was completely opposite to that of Cotman, being uniformly sa nguine, and he enjoyed a great vogue both as a painter and a teacher; yet his outward prosperity ~as scarcely greater than Cotman's, for he was a reckless s pendthri.ft an d was consta ntly in and out of the debtors' prison. Jo hn Varley attracted the notice of Dr Monro at t he age of twenty and, like the other you ng men of talent who were recognized by that connoisseur, was set to copyi ng, a year or two before

Cotman's entry on the same scene. The strongest influence upon his early style, naturally enough, as it was t he strongest innue nce in England at t he close of the eighteenth cen tury, was th,ll of Girtin . A v isit to Wales developed in him a predilection for mountainous scenery of which the recollection remained w ith him to his latest work (Fig. 59). BUI he was not without higher ambitions, and sought to exte nd the range of hi s subject matter by compositions on suc h subjects as Sce"e from the 8,ide of Abydos, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, an illustration to Byron s howing a thousand tombs and cypresses against an evening sky. He was also fer ti le in his search for new techniques, and j ust as Cotman had developed his rott ing n our paste mixture to bring some of the depth an d rich ness of oil into watercolour, Varley sought t.o achieve the same res ult by the lavish use of gum and even by varnishing his drawings. There was curiously blended in Varley a mixture of the scie ntific and the visionary faculties, and he d id not really succeed in bringing both si des of h is nature to fu ll fru ition in his d raw ings. There ca n be little doubt that he was what we now calt ' psychic'. There are many convincing accounts of his flair fo r premonitions, and an impressive list of prophecies by him which were su bseque ntly and unaccountab ly verified. Yet this taproot which he had into t he occult did not serve, as it served Blake, to nourish the imagi nati ve content of his art. He is a craftsman of great accomplishment, but in essence a manufacturer of picturesque scenes to a formu la. It is a res pectable. even an attractive rormula, deri ved from the study of Gaspard Poussin and Claude; but once the key of the formu la has been comprehended it becomes a little wearisome. In some of t.he early work there arc signs of greater possibilities, of an imaginative creat ion out of nature, but the


THE EA RLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

preponderanceofstercotypcd drawings by Varley is easily understood. He was extremely facile, and when drawings were needed overnight to furbish up an exhibition he would produce what were known as 'Varley's hot rolls' . An assiduous practice as a drawing master and the harassing narure of his debts prevented him from concentrating his vision or having frequent recourse to its springs; and there is again his ow n remark, 'Nature wan ts cooking', to explain these shortcomings. Yet it is when he conceals the culinary process thaI he is at his most convincing, as in his Hackm.'Y Church (Fig.60). The apparent spontaneity of thi s scene wh ich Varley had known from childhood - he was born in a house overlooking the chu rchyard - is explained by the artist's note on the back ' Hack ney Church, a Study from Nature, J. Varley, July 21st, 1830', Unrestricted praise, however, may be accorded to Varley's activities as a teacher. In imparting the principles of water colour painting he undoubtedly had the root of the matter in him, and it is as a teacher, in the work of his pupils and those who came indirectly under his influence, that he made his abiding contribution to lhis branch of English art. when it is remembered that men of such diverse girls and temperaments as David Cox and Samuel P,llmer, F.O. Finch and Copley Fielding were his pupils it will be apparent tha t he did not impose his own vision on h is scholars but, as education truly signifies, drew oul of them what was latenl in them. One reason forth is excellence is to be found in his published Treatise on the Principles of Landscape Design which is an admirably s ustai ned logical ana lysis of its subject, and emphasizes the need for breadth in a drawing at the expense of too great attention to detail. 'Every picture should have a "look there!'" he is reported to have said. He considers that contrasts of all kinds, in shape, colour, texture and movement,

are the true exercise of art. In another pregnant say ing he record s that oil painting may be ('ompared to philosophy while watercolour draWing resembles wit, which loses more by deliberation than is gained in truth. Hitherto, with the notable exception of Cotman, the members of the Old Water-Colour Society whose work has been considered were artist's already established or whose talents had become apparent by its foundation in 180S. Any such sociel y has very soon to exercise itself about. the recruitment of new talent. In this firs t decade of is existence the Old Water-Colour Society chose wisely, and picked from a very large field of professional artists many of whom we may say. being wise after t he eve nt, that they were the best watercolouriSlS of the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Of the new blood 1hus judiciously introduced, the three outstanding men were Peter De Winl. who became an associate in 1810 and a full member in 1812; A.V. Copley Fielding, who also became an associate in 1810 and a full member in ,812; and David Cox, who became an associate in 1812 and a full member in the same year. David Cox was, however, a year older than De Wint and five yea rs older t han Fielding, and therefore deserves precedence of trea tment. Cox did not freque nt t he house and collection of Dr Monro, but he graduated to pain ting through what was perhaps an even more prolifi c cha nnel of supply for artists at this period - that is, scenepainting for the theatre. As it had been for David Roberts. Clarkson Stanfield and many others, theatrical scene-pai nting was the means whereby Cox emancipated himsclf from his restrictions; in his case, of poor chances in his native Birmingham which he left for London and eventual recognjtion as one of the most characteristic of the English watercolou rists. He came to London about ,80S,

77


ENGL I SH WATE RCQLQU RS

65 Peter De W i nt Gloucester from the Meadows, ,840


TH E EA RLY N I NETEENT H CE N T U R Y

68 John Consta b le CQllages OrJ H igh Gr'OIuul

79


ENGI.ISH WATERCOLOU I< S

fell under the influence of Girtin and bad lessons from John Varley. Nor is it surprising tbat while he was learning to feel his feet he should have copied in watcrcolours a lypical painting by Gaspard Poussin which was in a dealer's shop at the time. This painting ofa ruin in a dark sctti ng of trees, with a shepherd and his flock in the foreground, •1Ild pervaded by thc eve ning light, exercised a great influence over the watercolours Cox painted in the next fifteen years and more. Cox maintained that Wales could provide all the scenery necessary for the Romamic vision. Yet his few excursions abroad enriched his production wit.h one of his most carefully contrived and colourful compositions, the Pont des A,·ts and the wllvre from the Quai Conti (Fig.61), worked up from a sketch he made during his on ly visit to Paris in 1829. The Cox whose work is most familiar in pri vate collections and an galleries is the later Cox, the Cox of windswept heaths, stormy seas, and effects of atmosphere and light; but for the first two decades of his maturity he worked in another more tradi tional and more solid way. During that period he produced a number of technic.l1 t reatises embodying his leaching on the theory and practice of watercolour painting, and these reveal him as an exponent of the cighteenth~ century idea of the picturesque, modified by the technique of such of his con temporaries as Varley. There is something monumental and satisfying about Cox's treatment of thc picturesque. He translates the logical construction fou.nd in Poussin and makes it fit much more closely to the English landscape than Varley, in whom the machinery is often too apparent. There is also less potboiling and uninspired repetition of themes in this earlier manner. But, despite the vagaries and lapses of the later style. the critical judgment is right which sees in it Cox's greater achievement and more

80

original con tribution to our an. It is difficult to resist the temptation of calling it an anticipation of Impressionism , because of the sensitiveness to light and transient effects of atmosphere displayed in this later style. There may indeed be the relation of cousinship between the style of Cox and that of the early Impressionists. The nearest French equivalent to COx is to be found in Eugene lsabey • and both Cox, after his visit to France in 1829, and lsabey learned much from the airy. featherlight brilliance of Bonington. lsabey was of importance to the development of Boudin, who in his turn was a decisive influence upon Monet. But whether these considerations are well founded or not, Cox docs, in the best of his later work, introduce thc clements ~ wind and wave, air and water and light ~ as dramatic motives. They sweep across the unchanging landscape, they almost engulfthe traveller on his way. Such conceptions arc a welcome contrast to the monumental calm of t.he founders of the English watercolour school and of Cox's own ea rlier style (F;g,62, 63). Dc Wint dominates the watercolour painting of the second quarter of the nineteenth century with Cox and Copley Fielding. He had been a p~ prenticed, while st ill in his teens, almost at tbe beginning of the nineteenth centu ry, to learn engraving and portrait painting, but his native bent for landscape painting asserted itself so strongly that he was released from his indentures and enabled to follow his desire. He was also at about the same time introduced to Dr Monro, and in his collecti on of English watercolour drawings admired those by Girtin most. He en~ joyed steady, if modest. patronage as draughtsman and as teacher almost [rom the outset, but his period of wider fame is to be dated from the time when he rejoined the Old Water~Colour Society in 1825. He had more right than most of his


THE EARLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

62 David Cox The Night Trai1l

contemporaries to attempt to emulate in his watercolours the richness and depth of colour of oil painting, for he was himself by preference a pai nter in oils. The surviving examples of his work in this medium show how adequate his techn ique was 10 express the whole range of his ideas. In their turn the oil paintings serve to explain his fondness for a deep. harmonious colouring, pervaded by a love of the strawberry roan colour of the cows which are so inevitable a feature of his landscapes.

De Wint is th e most decided of the followe rs of Girtin, and especia lly he found in him encouragement for the painting of the nat and at first sight featureless Midland counties in wbich he felt most 01 1 home. So wedded was he to the long level expanse that the very shape of his drawings renecls this liking of his: they are often abnormally long in proportion to their height and someti mes give the impression of a strip to which additions can be made indefioitely. Rather than seck the orthodox sources of the picturesque.


ENG LIS H WATE II. COLOU II. S

69 John Constabl e Stouchcugc

8,


T Hio EA I(I.Y N I N ETEEN T H C EN T U RY

70 Jo hn Co nst.l b lc Lol1dOllfrom Hampstead, with a double Rallloow


ENG I.I SH WATERCOLOURS

64 Peter De Wi nt Old Houses on the High Bridge, Lincoln

De Wint would spend summers in the neighbourhood of Lincoln draw ing not only the cathedral in its magnificent position but also t he surrounding fiel d s, marshes, swamps and the alleyways of the city (Fig.64). If Girtin had not performed similar wonders before him t here would be al l the more reason to be amazed at the interest and variety, the sense of warmth and human ity, which De Winl conj ures from this unpromising scenery.

He united in a high degree the powers of genera lizing with the power of concentrated design. He does not in h is best works carry the drawing of his foliage or his architecture to a high degree of definition; it is all adequately sta ted in t he language of the sketch, and yet each part is governed by a profound and conce ntrated sense of structure and of its place in the uni ty of the whole scheme. It is our confidence


THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTU RY

in the artist's power of sy nthesis which gives so satisfying a sense of complete ness and repose to our contemplation of hi s work . He docs not greatly vary his subject-matt er in search of wildly romantic scenery, or to play upon a range of atmospheric effects. His theme is ge nerally the immemorial one of the English countrys ide, watched over by the cathedra l (Fig.6S) or the sce ne of hay making in the summer days; or possibly it may be the low level reac hes of a river with antiquities mirrored in its ca lm, grey surfa ce. It is set down naturally and in accordance with Dc Wint's innate se nse of d eSign, and always with his singularly rich power of colouring. When, u nu sually for a watercolou r paint er at this time, he set OUI 10 paint a still life, hi s d elight in the precocity of his tec hnique, .lnd his con trol of contou r and wash, is quite apparent (Fig.66). As befits his approach to art, which was neither derivative nor the fountainhead of a new departure in the school, De Wint 's altit ude to his fellow art ists, as with dealers. was s tandoffish and remote. But one of his contemporary landscape paint ers bought from him, and that olle was John Constable. There cou ld be no greater

66 I'eter Dc Winl Still Lift'

tribute to Dc Willt's artist ic integrity . To his contemporaries of the second quarter of the nin eteenth century the f,lme of Cop ley Fielding stood equal with that of Cox and Dc Winl. but his reputat ion docs 110t bea r the sa me scrutiny today. He prospered exceedingly and made a large fortun e by his art , in times when De Wint was content wit h moderate prices, Cox was nOI prosperous, and Cotman chron ica lly tbe reverse of prosperous. Here is some concrete evidence for the oft-repeated assertion that the taste of the new class of art patrons was on the decline in this epoch. But we must not judge them too harshly, for Ruski n too, while admitting that Copley Fielding had faults, was moved to accord him a very high place in art. W hen preparing h is readers for his decla ration of the full su periority of Turner in the first ed ition of M odern PaiTllers, Ruskin enrolled Copley Fielding amongst those who were more beautiful. more true, more intellectual than Poussin and Claude, ty pifying him as 'casting his whole soul into space'. A more balanced nineteenth-century judgment on him reads: ' He fell into the most rigid nMnnerism of self-repetition, crudeness of colour, and feeb le or blurred confusion of d etail, and yet from isolated specimens of his work it miglll seem as though he Illigh t have been second only to Turner among wat er-colour artists.' Copley Fielding ca me to London in 1809 and il is said that when he present ed himself to John Varley he showed so litlle aptitud e for improvement that Varley did his best to dissua de him fro m fo llowi ng the career of an artist. He frequented Dr Monro's, and his draWings of this early period show an almost slav is h devotion to Varley's principles. Once he had sketched out for himself the formula he repealed so often, of moorland and distant hill, with a brown, undifferentiated foreground traversed by a rutted path,

8S


f:NG I.I S H WATERCO I.OU RS

7' R . P. UOllington MedQra

86


THE EA RLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

73 R.i>. Ho ningto n A Venetian Scene


ENG I.I S H WATE RCOLOU RS

67 A. V. Cop lcy Fi c ldi ng A Ship 1/1 DiSlress

he never failed of success. His only other development took p lace when, on an enforced sojourn at Brighton for his w ife's health, he fell under the spell of the sea (Fig.67). Thereafter sea pi ctures bulked equally with distant mountains and moorland mists in his work, He was, if possible, even more prolific and fac ile in execution than John Varley and, in Ihe course of fifty -four years, exhibited the surpri sing total of 1,671 drawings with the Old Water-Colour Society. He was Presid ent of the Societ y, and thus the official representative of English watercolou r, for the last twenty-five years of his life. It is a rcliefto turn from Copley Fielding to an

88

artist whose originality and single-minded devotion to the highest potentialities of his art are beyond doubt. John Constable docs not come to mind in the first instance as a member of t he school of watercolourists: for one thing, he himself during the greater part of his maturity thought and worked so thoroughly in terms of oil painting thai his usc of watercolour was spasmodic and secondary. But to be the painter of the complete truth of nature, as he set out to be, Constable had constantly 10 be out in the fields making notes of the scene before him, often in pencil, often in oil, but sometimes, and more frequently toward the end of his life, in watercolours.


THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

Constable succeeded in freeing himself entirely from the habits of vision and picture-making with which we bave become familiar in Ihis survey - in particular from the 'picturesque' tradition of composition. He saw and drew things as they were, without tricks of style, and so when he came to use watercolours in the period of his full mastery, he did so with originality and a new expressiveness. But these works of his maturity were preceded by a remarkable group which he produced in 1806. when he was thirty years old. Constable was unusually late in develop ing, and started with far less manual dexterity than most of the precocious youths who became famollS artists. In 1806 he paid his solitary visit to the Lake District. Leslie records in his Life of Constable that the artist did not feel at home in the mountains of which the solitude and vastness depressed him. He exhibited a few finished oil paintings and then dropped the theme of the Lakes abruptly from his repertoire. At the time he had made a remarkable series of watercolours, the majority of which stayed in his keeping. These drawings betray unmistakably the strong influence of Girtin, but they are the fruit of incessant and excited sketchi ng, and in their unpretentious way they express as no other series of draWings or paintings has done the very qualities by which Constable was oppressed the solitude and the grandeur orthe hills. BOlh from the drawings themselves and documentary evidence we know they were made by the artist on the Spot, mostly sitting in Borrowdale in the presence of the majestic massifs. To his contemporaries at this time Constable's style was sufficiently exceptional to give them the impression that he was aiming for effect; but on the back of some of these Lake District sketches we find notes by the artist comparing what he has seen ,md auempted to draw with specific paintings

by Gaspard Poussin, thus emphasizing once again the dependence even of our most original minds on the main tradition of seventeenth-century landscape. when after this brief early experiment he took to watercolour again in the later phase of his career, Constable was fully aware of wh.l\ he was seeking in nature. To be a natural painter he had to drop all tricks of composition, all purely formal rules of picture-making. At the same time he had to express the evanescent no less than the permanent: the ever-c hanging shapes and colours of the clouds he had watched avidly since his child hood as the son of a miller, the white of leaves beaten up by the wind, the dew on .grass and sunlight on tree st umps. All these functions of changing light and colour were to be part of his expression of the outer world. Watercolour became a handmaid to his pencil and his oil colours in catc hing these transient appearances at the moment they were seen. The unpremeditated method ofthcir use and the self-trained and :scrupulous honesty of Constable's vision ensured the freshness of these sketches, whether cloud studies or notes of buildings, trees or cou ntry (Fig.6.8). In the last years of his life he took to exhibiting watercolours as finished express ions of his art. This course was partly forced UfXlll him by illness; in 1834 he was only able to send four drawings to the Royal Academy's annual exhibition. One of them was a large watercolour of Old Sarum, in which he developed his technique to express his sense of the evanescent qualities of light. He carried this method even further when he exhibited his watercolour Stonehenge in 1836 (Fig.69). This is an intensely Romantic rendering of the emotions evoked by ancient, inexplicable ruins, and its poetry is enhanced by the double rainbow which he cherished as a brilliant phenomenon of light and asa symbol of hope (Fig. 70).


ENG LI SH WATERCOI.OUR S

74 Thomas Sho lle r Boys The Boulevard (ies l/aliens, Pads


T H I: EARLY N I NETEENT H CENTU R Y

76 William C.ll1o w The Leaning Tower. Bclogna


ENG LI SH WATE RCO I.OU RS

It is from another painter who made a great

contri bution to oil painting that a strong reviv ifying breath comes to the English watercolour school in Ihe 'twenties of t he nineteenth century. Although he only lived to be twe nty- five, Honington crystall ized the prevailing tendencies of h is time so weB that he not only left a body of great work be hin d him but he had a strong infl uence on his contemporaries and successors both in France and England. Both English and Fre nch elements entered inlO his tTaining: his fat her, a landscape and portrait painter of Nott ingham who no doubt gave him some training, took him to France at t he age of sixteen or seventeen, and it was in France that most of his working life was passed. There the young artist took lessons in watercolou r from Louis Francia, w ho had imbibed the English watercolou r trad ition in associa tion wi th Girtin, and was new ly set up as a teacher in Calais. Subseque ntly Bon ington went to Paris and worked at one of the foremost studios there; he was much admired for his fac ility and bril liance of execution, and Delacroix was his friend. He came to share the enthusiasm felt by Delacroix for By ron's Eastern romances and thei r sta r-crossed lovers {Fig.7 1}. Bo nington paid a visit to Venice and made one or two jou rneys to England. Such was the eITect of h is watercolou rs in France at the time of thei r execut io n t hat the yo ung Corot was s pell bo und and d eeply influenced by catching sight of one in a dealer's window wh ile on an errand . Their predominant characteristic is lightness of touch combined with certitude and accuracy of drawing. He models wilh the broad, swift strokes of the sketch, but every touch is in p lace and he does not dest roy the fi rst effect of spon tane ity by elaboration. The was h has as it were a sournc-like lightness on t he paper. Whereas Peter De Wint seems to be draw ing in heavy elements, in earth

itself. Bonington draws in air and colour. In landscape, Bonington's favour ite subj ects were seascapes from the levels of the French coast. He made many topographical street scenes of Paris and other pict uresque towns with a delicacy in t he treatment of arch itecture wh ich contrasts strongly with the heaviness of some other topographical draughtsmcn, such as Prout. Latterly, when he also came to take up painting in oil, he pa inted a nu mber of historical pictures in the style of the French romantic school, with members of which he was associat ing. A visit he paid to Venice in [826 provided him wi th fresh opportunities both for picturesque archi tectural topography and for romantic historical painting (Figs7 2 ,71). The followers of Boni ngton felt his in.lluence in both these categories. The lightening of texture in the later wor ks of David Cox seems to be directly traceable to h is new acquaintanceship with Bonington's style. In France his admirers included such artists as Eugene Isabey, w ho through Boudin exerted an influence on t he Impressionists. A whole group of rising artists gave proof of thei r respect for his method s, the most notable among them being T homas Shotter Boys, John Scarlett Davis, James Holland and William Callow. BOYS, in particular, made drawings of the Parisian street scene whic h rival t hose of Girtin and Bonington. In them the vertical moulding of the repetit ive ornament in the architect ure are rendered by the fine brisk parallel strokes common to this grou p, and the skies are drawn with the understand ing natural to so many members of t he English school of watercolourists (Fig.74). Boys is known t.o a large public through his lithographic views of Paris, and also by his lit hographs of London in 1842, in w h ich wit h a similar fi delity and appreciation for space he has recorded


THE EA RLY N I NETEENTH CENTURY

72 R. I>. Boni ngton Thr f)oge's Palace, Venice

75 Joh n Sc:a rl ctt Da vis The Porte SI Marlin, Paris

the image of early-Victorian London. In his earlier work , John Scarlett Davis draws Ihe st reets of Paris in a manner which, though il derives from the same cxample, is more linea r and less fluid in handling (Fig.75). William Ca llow worked for a lime with Boys at Paris and lived abroad between his seventeent h

and twenty-ninth years. Like Bonington and Boys, he paid much attention to drawing the Pari.sian street scene. There was indeed al most a craze at this time among amateurs of drawings for such delineations, stimulat ed no doubt by the sc;ding off of the Continent during the period of the Napolconic Wars. Callow became, like other alllsts of the second qua rter of the nineteenth centu ry, a vigorous tra veller abroad in search ofpicturcsque architecture (Fig.76). His ca reer was a remarkable one, for he continued to paint Skilfully in the Bonington tradition til l the closing years of the nin eteenth century and in fa ct lived until 1908, whc n he died al the age of ni nety-five. He was one of the artists who helped to maintain the sta nd ard of the exhibitions of the Old WaterColour Society in the second half of the nineteenth century. and was secretary of that body between 1865 and 1870. James Holland was born in the Potteries, and like Renoi r began his painting career in the decoration of ceramics. He too beca me a far-t ravelled man in Europe, notably in Portugal. which he vis ited under a commission from a publisher to supply drawi ngs for an engraved annual. and in Venice. It is of Venetian scenes that his most colourful and forceful later drawings were made (Fig.77). In them he made much usc of body colour; in bri ll iance of colour and virtuosit y of handling, these drawings represen t the method of Bonington pushed to its farthest possible extremes. That Holland knew the va lue of s ketches is esta blished by hi s rema rk that 'pa rt ing w"ilh a sketch was li ke parting with a toot h, once sol d it can not be replaced '. Samuel Prout earned a widespread reputation through his renderings of ancient and picturesque Continental architecture (Fig.78). His most typical works are certainly drawn with uniform, tho ugh mannered , ability, colourfu l and enli vened by gay

93


ENGI.I S H WATERCO t OUR S

77 James Holland Ospedaie Civile, Venice

94


THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY

80 William James Muller Tlos, Lycia

95


78 Samuel Prout Regensburg Cathedral


83 William Turner orOxrord

window路blinds and grou ps of rather triangular ligures. An earlier and unfamiliar phase of Prout's style, in which he draws in cold grcys and low tones, is far more pleaSing. The subjects of these works are generally picturcsquc cottages and hamlets of Cornwall or Devon. But his success was built upon his diligellt travels, from which he derived scenes which roused curiosity and conjured up tantalizing desires to follow in his steps. John Ruskin records how his fathcr brought home a copy of Prout's lithographic Sketches in

fJonati's Com(!l 1858

Flanders a"d Germany: 'As my mother watched my father's pleasure in looking allhc wond erful places, she silid why should we not go and see some of them in reality? My father hcsitated a little, then with glittering eyes said why not?' Ruskin repaid his debt to the originator of his foreign travels by enrolling Prout amongsl the li ving artists who had shown their 'superiority in the art of landscape to all the ancient masters'. The growing taste for travel played its part in enticing artists to make even longer and more

97


ENGLISH WATERCOLOURS

adventurous journeys. David Roberts was one of the first to seek novelty and richness of architecture in Spain; then he went even more boldly to Egypt and the Holy Land in 1838 and 1839

(F;&-79)路 William James Muller was another early visitor to Egypt and Greece, and in f843 he became the official draughtsman to the Expeditiona ry Force in Lycia. The exceptional breadth of his watercolour technique is demonstrated most particularly in the sketches he made on that expedition (F;g .80).

79 Oav id Robe rts The Great TempleoJ Ammo/l, Kamac. the Hy posly le Hall

Clarkson Stanfield had, like Dav id I{oberts and David Cox, begun h is ca reer as a scene-painter; he transferred the sense of drama wh ich this calling entai ls into his topogra phical walercolours, and even more into the sea paintings for wh ich he gained a notable contemporary reputation . To Ru skin he was 'stern and d ecisive in his truth'. The dangers of t he sea needed no emphasizing to this maritime nation; the horrifying number of shipwrecks was a constant reminder ofits perils. But the melodrama tic note in A Storm (Fig.8f) is also to be understood in the context in which it was to be exhibited. George Scha rf's interior of the New Watercolour Society (Fig.82) shows the crowded screens and the heavy frames enclosing large wa tereolou rs customary in the exhibi tions oft hesc ea rlier yea rs of the nineteenth century. To make a mark in such surroundings any composition had to be bold and dramatic. William Turner of Oxford's Donati's Comet held the attention of the visitors by its exceptional and moving subject, in spite of its relatively small size amongst exhibition pieces (Fig.8)). An interest in the h istoric past was as muc h a feature of the Romantic movement as the delight in exotic travel. As we have seen, Bonington was an early exponent of scenes set in the s upposedly correct costume of an earlier cent ury or an exotic land. Amongst the many watercolour pai nters who supplied collectors with suc h reconstructions George Cattermo[e was one of the most conscientious and prolific. He is probably best remembered now for his illustrations to Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop, which were engraved on wood and are still re printed; his feeling for old bu ildi ngs and fo r anlique furniture were well employed in lhese designs, and culminate in t he scenes of Little Nell's death and her grandfather's constant watch by her grave.


8 1 Cla rkso n Sta n fi el d A Stonn

82 Geo rge SChilrf Thl' Gallery oj thr Nl'u' SOI.-u:tyo[ Paintl'rs in Walrr-CQlours, 1834

99


. COL O U RS ENG I,I S I-I WATER

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88 Wilham .. BI a k eTheRIl·erofLift..

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THI: I:A KI.Y N I NETI:I:NTH CENTUKY

90 Edward C.1 Ive r! A Prlmi!;!'/' ellY


81 George Callermole Madx?lh m51ructmg the murden.'T5 employed /I) kill Btmquo

His antiquarianism renccts all essential ingredient of the Gothic revival, and gives a sensc of authenticity to his theatrical scenes such as his iIlustr,llion of Ma cbeth instructing the murderers employed to kill Banquo (Fig .841. One of'the most lively contemporary develop merllS in figurative watercolour painting came through the increasing demand for portrait draWings, as a halfway house between the portrait miniature and the oil portr,lit. One of the most act ive in this genre was Henry Edridge, a versatile man who was a successfu l miniaturist and landscape painter. As a portrait draughtsman he is the nearest English equivalent to Ingres. His drawing 002

of Thomas Hearne in Ashstead chu rchyard was made in 1800, when the two artists were staying with their friend Dr Monro at his country COllage near Leatherhead (Fig.85l. The nineteenth century rebelled against the 5.1V.lgery of cighteent h ~cenlury ca ri cature, watering its fury down into the genial comedy of such drawings ,1<; A.E. Chalon's The Opera Box (Fig.86). Whilst the street scelles which had so fascinated the founders of the English watercolour were not neglected, the subject matter was now often taken from the higher re,lches of society, as with the visiting French artist Eugene Lami recording a scene in Belgrave Square (Fig.S7). 87 Eugene Lami Sanr

In

IJelgrave Square


85 Henry Edridgc Thomas Hearne in Ashstead Churchyard, Surrey

86 A lfred Edward Cha lon The Opera Box


ENGLISH WATE RCO LQU RS

9 2 Sa mue l Palmer 111 a Shoreham Garden 96 Jo hn Jjnnc/I Mrs Wilberforce alld her child t>


ENG LI SH WATE NCOLOU RS

The artist who most truly brought the eighteenth-century trad ition of figurative composition into the early years of the nineteenth century was Wi llia m Blake. Yet his extensive and powerful in n uence was spread more by his small number of idyllic Arcad ian woodcut landscapes than by t he ill ust rations to his Pro phetic Books. If we exce pt o ne of two friends and patrons, contemporary a ppreciat ion passed Blake by. Veneration fo r him was kept ali ve by a small cult but it did not become more general tilL in the 'fifties, Rossetti, t he biographer Gilchrist, Swin b urne and others connected with the Pre-Rap haelite movement. bega n to be aware of his extraord inary merits. The growt h of a sti ll more po pular appreciation of Blake, which has at lengt h led to his acceptance as one of the great masters of English art. no less t han of English literature, dates on ly from exhibitions of the twentieth century. To take Blake seriollsly before r8so was to invite the supposition t hat one was slightly mad, and in the second half of t he nineteenth century it woul d still have been paradoxical. Blake's vision did indeed penetra te through to the fu ndamentals, but he expressed t he difficu lt t ruths of w hich he had caught a glimpse in an art la nguage which was bound to remain inaccessible to Illost people of his age. For', inevitably, he worked in t he artistic idiom of' his own day. and used it in a way w hich to normal eyes seemed a confession of his own tec h nical ina dequacy. In his poetry he uses the romantic imagery of Ossian and Gray to ach ieve res ults w h ich arc a startl ing anticipation of Wordsworth in t he Lyrical Ba llads. In h is painti ng he has a variety of con temporary worki ng trad itions to draw on. Whi le serving his apprenticesh ip as an engraver he had made a great n umber of drawings of med ieval tombs, and the impress of t he med ievalism wh ich he imbibed , consciously or unconsciously, while engaged on 106

t h is work is evident th roughout his origina l drawings. At the ot her extreme he was enth usiastical ly aware of the current academic tradition of drawing the nude fig ure and of the Michelangclesque emphasis on muscular development w hich was already being p ut at the serv ice of express ionistic litera ry illustration by FuseH. In t his he was touching the dee pest aspi rations of t he Englis h academic circles of t he ti me: the desire to p rod uce a body of historical painting, in which t he human fig ure was the veh icle of an epic message, worthy to be put beside the schools of Ita ly and Flanders. Blake p ut these strands of cu rrent ideas 10 completely ind ividual use. He exaggerates everythi ng in his need to ex press the overn owing of emotion and enlighten ment. W hen Job is mel by his friends - Job's comforters - they arc mostly. in Bla ke's eyes, of patriarchal age, terribly old and bowed down, with long, white, flowing beard s. His protagonjsts have the large, st.lring eyes of the visionary or the mad man. They expn.'Ss prostration by being bent to the ground, nobil ity by upstandi ng gest ure, and yearn ing with both arms outstrclched to the sky. Taking the symbolism of Milton qu ite literally, God uses a golden compass to strike out the universe. OUlspoken expressionism of this type sometimes verges on caricatu re, but in Blake it generally does not step beyond the limits of what we can accept (Fig.SS). Blake was inexhaustibly fertile in technique. He was t rai ned in the most solid trad ition of eighteenth-ce lllury line engraving; but he fou nd , when he came 10 work out his own ideas, t hat it was diflicult to express them in this medium or through oil and watcrcolour. So he developed a method of relief etching, to whic h he ap plied colour by hand, to make of his hand- printed books of poems something as glowing as medieval illuminated man uscripts. When he was over sixty

89 W illiam "lak e The Inscription ouer Hell Gare [>


ENGL I SH WATERCOLOURS

10 1

loB

J . F. lew is The Hharc('m


T H E EARLY N I N ETEENT H C EN TU R Y

102 Wi ll ia m H en r y HUItt Slumber

"'9


ENG LI SH WAT EKCOlOU KS

he turned to what was for h im the novel medium of the woodcut, and made a dozen designs for T hornton's Virgil of which the innuence was absolutely vita l. So, too, he made what are to all intents and pu r poses in appearance wJtercolour d rawings, but which arc in fact colour prints, oflen derived in somewhat recondite fashion as 00:' prints of frescoes and so forth, and then coloured again Dr finished by hand. Apart from the truths which he quite simply believed were revealed directly to his inner sense by vision or trance, Blake's thought was dominated by reverence for thc past and in particu lar for certain literary monu ments, of wh ich the Bible was para mount. Even more than in illustrating t he sometimes obscure sy mbolism of his own epics, he gave most satisfac tory expression to his graphic skil l in large cycles of designs which he prepared for the illustration of some of those works. Amongst suc h cycles are the ill ustrations to Young's Night Thoughts, t he designs for the Book of Job and, in the last years of his life, his illu strations for Dante's Divine Comedy. T he ill ustrations fo r the Divine Comedy display his imagi nation at its grandest and most communicable. Here, as in the illustrations to Thornton's Virgil, the figures, gigan tic and larger than human as they are, fit naturally into the Titanic and Tartarean background of Dante's, an d Blake's, conceiv ing. The deceptively sylvan entrance to Hell is an ironic contrast to the scenes of horror wh ich arc to follow (Fig.891. In one of the few perfec tly satisfying transmutations of literary work s into pictures, Blake has made it poss ible fo r us to believe in both the horror and the pity of the Inferno; he has communicated the infini te p urgation of Paolo and Francesca wh ich causes Dante to swoon with grief' beside his impassive gu ide. In the last ten yea rs of his life, thanks to a "0

meet ing with t he you ng artist John Linnell, William Blake became the centre of a small group of young and like-minded men who venera ted him and to whom he transmilled his wisdom. Through t hem he re-entered in due course t he main st ream of English art. Among t he friends was John Varley, who, with his astrological pred ilections, was fascina ted by Blake's faculty of summoning visions, or visual hallucinatio ns, as we should probably call them. But mention of Varley serves to recall that he was an arlist whose supernormal or psyc hic gifts in life were not. renected in his art, in vivid contrast to Blake who had, as far as anyone can, t be power of t ranslating one d imension of experience into another. These friends of Blake were besides Lin nell and Varley - Calvert, Riehmond, Pa lmer and F.O. Finch. Of these Calvert made a few early idylls of a haunting poetry before devoting himself to a reconstruction of the Grecian mythology (Fig.90). Two diSciples who are of more direct relevance in followi ng the cou rse of English watercolour are Fi nch and Samuel Palmer. Francis Oliver Finch was of a calm, contemplative and poctica l temperament. He said that Blake 'struck bim as a new kind of man, wholly original, and in all things', and Finch's own bent towards a mystical outlook is shown by bis adhesion to the doct rines of Sweden borg. He was one of t he pup ils to whom Varley taught the craft of wa tercolour without suffocating the ir own original out look. There is no direct resemblance bet ween Finch's sty le and the work of Blake; the influence oftbe latter is rather to be traced in a certain suffused lyricism. Finch almost entirely creates in terms of the idea l landscape compositions whose derivation (rom Italian practice has been described. He gives a new melanCholy and a new nostalgia to the forms used by George Barret, junior, whom he most closely resembles; and he is perhaps t he


9 1 Francis O l ive r Finc h EL'emng: A Cemetery

last onhodox exponent in England of the landscape methods directly derived from Claude (Fig.91). Samuel Palmer is an even more notable figure amongst the skilfu l but sometimes prosaic topographers of the mid nineteenth cen t ury. His first mccting with William Blake was a stringent test of his earnestness and sincerity. 'Do you work with fear and trembling?' Blake asked him. 'Yes, indeed.' 'Then you' ll do.' In an unworldly enthusiasm for the principles of purity in art advocated by Blake, he withdrew to the then isolated Kentish village of Shoreham. The unspoiled country life around him provided motifs and inspirat ion for an imagination already exalted by the reading of

Mihon, the Bible and the Latin pastoral poets. Unlike Blake, whose technical command over his visionary faculty seem to have been greatest in the last yea rs of h is life, Palmer was at his most percept ive and origi nal in his twenties. The drawings and walercolours of his which are now most apprecia ted are those of this Shoreham period: they include the remarkable In a Shoreham Garden (Fig.92), in the Victoria and Albert Museum, in which a woman is seen at the end of one of the paths of a truly enchanted garden, full of the colour and forms associated with children's memory of gardens, and with a tree in incredible blossom over all.

'"


ENGLIS H WATEReD I,oURS

103 W illi a m H e nry H unt

,"

Birds' Nests and Pnm rQses


104

M y les Hi r ke illostc r The Milkmw d

" 3


ENGLIS H WATIlRCO LOURS

93 Sa muel Pa lmer Lane and Shed, Shoreham

94 Sa mucl P,llmcr AII(:ielll Rome

"4


THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTU RY

95 Sam uel I'a II1lcr The Lonely Tower

Even his observation of a moss-covered barn is charged with visionary excitement (Fig.9)). After his Shoreham period Palmer came more nearly to lerms with the current commercial idea of what a watercolour should look like; but he did not lose his fascination with technique, which seems composed of casual, careless scrumbling and scribbles, but is both accurate and vigorous, nor did he lose the essential delight of his perceplion of the outer world. His Italian. scenes are rich wilh applied textures which add exuberance

to his record of antiquity (Fig.94). Again in his last years he turned in memory to his Shoreham days and sough t to recapture that 'light that never was on land or sea', particularly in a series of watercolours illustrating Milton in which the Claudean evening light illuminates the fleeces of the homeward-returning flock or the melam:holy scholar wishes that his lamp at midnight hour Be seen in some high lonely lower (Fig.9S)

"5


ENG LI SH WATE RCOLOU RS

105 Dante Ga b ri e l Rossett i The Wedding ofSt George and Princess &Jbra

,, &


106 Edward Co ley Uurne-Jo nes Dorigen of Bretaigne longing for the Safe Return of her Husband

" 7


ENGLISH WATERCOLOUkS

a sympathy with Blake's mysticism. Richard Dadd had begun as a tr.lditionallandsca pe painter. but his travels in Greece and the Middle East brought on an attack ofmadncss during which he murdered his father. Withdrawn into his own world in his confinement in asy lums he lapped an origina l

97 Jo h n I. innel l ColJectmglhePlock

John Linnell showed much the same liberation of technique in his watercolour style. In his extremely long career he was an originator at many different levels . By 1806, when he was fourteen ye.1rS old, he had been noticed by Sir George Beaumont for the extraordinary fidelity of his sce nes of courts and alleys. He brought a distinctive style of stippling to his portrait miniatures and drawings (Fig.96). He had the pcnetrat ion to sense Blake's genius and to employ him on his illustrations to Dante when he had no other commissions. In return, some of the lyricism of Blake's woodcuts to Thornton's Virgil was communicated to Linnell's landscapes (Fig.97). The desire to escape from the harsher realities of ninctecnth-celltury life, into an interior world of fantasy, was not felt only by artists who shared

98 Kichard Dadd Sketch to lilustrale the PassIOns: Treachery


TH E EARLY NtNETEENTH CENTU RY

99 Richard Doy le Under the Dock Leaves an Autumnal Evening's Dream

vein of fantasy. One of his obsessions was his painting of fairy subjects (Fig.98). This reflected a novel taste of the early Victorian age. Amongst the many other art ists who delighted in folklore and the contrast in scale between reality and the little persons in the fairy stories was Richa rd Doyle. Doyle, whose surprisingly phallic design

was used on the cover of Punch till quite recently, was one of the earliest artists to use the naiveties of ch ildren's drawings as a basis for his own style. His ca ricatures of socia l life in t he 1850S are drawn with a consciously child ish louch, and the same spirit of" infantilism pervades his highly accomplished drawings of fairy land (Fig.99).

"9


ENGLISH WATE RCOI.OURS

11 0

George Pri ce noyce AI Rinsey, near Oxford


-II I J ohn Wi llia m Inc h bold Viewaoolle M Olllreux


ENGLISH WATERCOLOURS

100

Jo hn Ma rtin The Lost Mall

The careers of Blake. Ca lvert. Palmer and Linnell are sufficient to show that the nineteenth century was fertile in breeding artistic noncon formists. Eve n in this ,1ge of individualists John Martin stand s out by the scope of his ambition. He pursues the sublime by exploi ting its dependence upon vastness of scale. The projector of great schemes

>22

for public works. he is representative of the epoch of vast architectural and engineeri ng achievement. His work was conceived o n a monumentaL panor.lmic scale. The progressive thrust of the age of the railway is combined wit h an old-fa shioned fundamentalism in his concept of The Last Mal/. dwarfed by the illimitab le universe (Fig. 100).


3 The later Victorians and th e Moderns J .F. Lewis, Rossetti, Whistler, Wy ndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland

I

N the main the artists so far considered took

the view that watcrcolour was properly a trans parent medium. They held that in its application to the while-paper ground full advantage shou ld be taken of ils [uminosil y. and of its capacity to reneet light t hrough the pigme nted washes, if they were applied thinly enough. The Victorians were conscious of liv ing in a progressive and experimental age, and wcre not prepared to t.lkc any trad it ion, however long establis hed, on tr ust. So variations and developments of the earlier technique began to a ppear, and took control in the midd le years of the ce ntury. The most important cha nge came from t heir encouragement of t he use of body colour, in which Chinese white is mixed w ith the pigments to make them opaque. Although the characteristic lightness of t hin washes is lost in this met hod it has the countervai ling advantage of maki ng it possible to render the finest detail of the gradations of colour, light and shade. Its adoption suited the taste of the time for brilliant colour and for meticulous detail. A pioneer of the new style was J .P. Lewis, whose more revolutionary work burst on the art istic world like a revelation when exhibited in 1850. Lewis had begun his career travelling in the footsteps of David Roberts to Spain and Egypt. But then he diverged from the customary life of the topographical paimer. He felt the enchamment of the East, and spent ten years in Cairo in a kind of somnambulistic haze. But his dolce far rliente

existence had not been pure idleness.路 when he showed The Hhareem at the Old Watercolour Society it was i:mmediately recogn ized as the masterly embodiment of a new approach to watercolou r painting (Fig. l ol). It sums up the resu lts of his indolent study of the people of Cairo and his delicate obser'vation of the nuances of intense light falling th rough tattices upon the interiors; but there is n01hi_ng indolent a bout its execut ion. He could only have achieved this degree of fide lity to obser ved appearances by the minutely divided strokes and touches of body colour w h ich form the base of his painting techni q ue. The pu blic s uccess of The Hhareem was immense. It impd led Ruskin to en rol the artist as an honorary Pre-Raphaelite, though in truth he had little in common with them. Ruskin also applauded his em ployment of body colour, which he said had all the advantages of oil pa int without such disadvantages as mess and smell. Lew is owed hi.s Sllccess panly to the fact that he had been out of the public attention for len years, and partly because bis exot ic subject ma tter was so well suited to his technique. He had been anticipated in the use of body colour for the exploration of colour variations in minute detail by a number of other artists, amongst the most conspicuous of whom is William Henry Hunt. He had begun his long career in the eightcenthcentury tradition, using line and wash in the manner of tbe oLd 'stained drawing'. Sensing a


ENGLIS H WATERCOLOURS

113 Alberl Goodwi n Fireflies, Trinidad

11 7 Frederick Wa l ker Autulllll t>


ENGJ.lSH WATERCOLOURS

grow ing sh irt in interest from the topographical to the narra ti ve. he began to make figure eompositions in w hic h the atlention is focused upon a single figure in an interior (Fig. 102). He explores the errects of light w ith a carefully controlled s tippling. Some of his best figure subjects are found amongst his humorous studies of a boy. smoking his first cigar or eating too much of a tempting pie. Rusk in, who admired Hunt sufficiently to give an analysis of his work and to div ide it int o a variety of categories totally disa ppro ved of these excursions into humour. But he shared the genera l ad miration for Hunt's fr uit and flower paintings. These gained for him the name of ' Bird 's Nest' Hunt by which he is usua ll y known (Fig. 10)). He made his still lifes fro m the object before his eyes, painting the detail in a refined mixture of body and wa tereolour which was so much under his con trol that he could convey not o nly the bloom o n t he plum but t he sm udge where the b loom had been removed by handling. Lewis and Hunt were forerunners in an aesthctic s hift wh ich is apparent in the watercolours of the next thirty yea rs, towards brilliance of colour and minuteness of touch. Birket Foster applies these principles to landscapes in wh ich the emphasis is laid on the charm of summer fields and country la nes and lhe inha bita nts arc idealized into the best behaved child ren or worthy. handsome peasantry (Fig. 104). He is in the direct line of descent from Lew is, whose The Hhareem he owned ; he eV id ently made good use of its technical lesso ns when forming his own mature style. The Pre- Raphaelites were fully in sympathy wit.h any such technica l innovations. They added to this Victorian brea k with t rad ition a spiritual shirt away from the pressure of actualit y, and sought to develop the imaginative elements which had not been dominant features in the exh ibiting institutions. To recapture a magica l and mystical

element wh ich they felt had been neglected they sought in t heir most indi vidua l works to seek refuge from the realities of curren! life and shelter in the glories of a medieval dream. They treated watercolour almost as if it werc oil paint. placing one layer ovcr another, scratching it, and adopting w hatever devices led to their main goal. Rossetti worked over some of his watcrcolours many yea rs after their original conception. But these unorthodox method s produced the result at which they were aiming; they did produce pictures which glowed like stained g lass and proclaimed their fasci nation with the past in both composition and colour. Rosselli perhaps ex pressed himsel f most truly in his watercolours; at least in his oil pai ntings he oftcn blurs hi s intentions with a rather heavy and ineffective usc of paint. and his pencil and pen drawi ngs, exq uisite and revealing though they are, lack that final elemclll of colour which was the quality which most appealed to him in the medieva l world picture. His watercolours, predominantly illustra tions of Dante. Shakespeare or legend, havc about them a haunting nostalgia for t he past. One of t he followers of the PreRaphaelites spoke of the drawing by Rossetti of the Wedding of Sf George and Princess Sabra (Fig. lOS) as a 'dim golden dream' . and the phrase precisely ex presses t he appeal of this rarefied and emotiona l art. Of the Pre-Raphaelite followers Burne-Jones was most in tunc with this reversion to the medieva l past. He h.. d an unusual se nse of colour and its juxtaposition, and was able to develop t his trait in his watercolours. His Dorigen of nretaignc shows a typically etiolated maid , whose lo vesick longing for her absent husban d , described by Chaucer in The Franklin's Tale. is emphasized by t he cram ped position imposed upon her by his composition (Fig. 106).


THE LA TER VICTOR I ANS AND TH E MOD ERNS

107 John EvcrclI

Mi l lai~

The EueofSl Agnes: an inlerj'wa/ KIlO/it nltar SltlJltnoaKS

The early drawings in which Millais first broke ranks with academic standards were outline dr.1\vings with a heavily German accent. By the time he ca me to use watercolour he had worked through his more rebellious tendencies. In fact he had so far overcome the hostility in conventional circles to his innovations that he was chosen to illustrate Orley Farm, and s howed himself in full accord with Trollopc's very representative view of British life. Yet the sense of wonder and the

precocity of technique which are the strengt h of his early paintings recu r from time to t ime, es pecially when he is painting a theme from the poets, as in his watercolour of The Eve of Sf Agnes, in which he recaptures th e moonlit romance of Keats's talc (Fig . 107). Superficia lly, the visi t which William Holman Hunt paid to the East, including the Holy Land, might seem parallel to those paid before him, by artists sueh as Robert and Lewis. But Hunt an'ived


ENGLI S H WATERCOLOURS

120 Robert Walker Macbeth Gn'Ctins the Poslman


TH E LA T£ R V ICTOR I ANS AND THE MODE RNS

-. 122 James McNei ll Wh istler MQlhrrarld Child on a Couch

"9


ENGLIS H WATERCOLOURS

loB Wi llia m Hol m a n Hu nt Na::areth

encumbered with the full doctrine of PreRaphaelite truth to Nature, and in an evangelistil: spirit, which he embodied in his famous oil painting Tile Scapegoat. Whatever view we may form about his increasingly idiosyncratic colour sense there can be no doubting the sincerity with which he sets about painting religious pa rables in their Biblical setting, nor of his emotions in visiting the holy shrines of Christianity (Fig. lOB). Opponents of the Pre- Raphaelites warned that it fostered unhealthy tendencies. Their forebodings were realised in the work of Simeon Solomon, in

'30

which the decadence foreshadowed by Baudelaire and Swinburne bore spectacula r fruit. He succeeded in cfTecting an entirely individual ama lgam of Judaic imagery and themes suggested by the homosexuality which led to his personal ruin (Fig. 109). Such dev iations fro m decency, propriety and the established order o f t hings were remote from that truth to Nature which Ruskin clai med for the Pre-Raphaelites. But his criticism was wel l adapted to the aims of those landscape painters who believed themselves to be followi ng the


T H E LATER V ICTORIANS AND THE MODERNS

precepts of the Brotherhood. Ruskin may himself have influenced them by his criticism, his patronage and his own practice in drawing. But his influence was a limiting one. He was delighted that the new methods could reproduce literal fact, but wanted his artists to limit their observation of the worl d to chunks of geological material or details of arc hitect ure. The most successful amongst this group of landscape painters were those who were able to escape an obsession with detached deta il and cou ld introducc broader principles of compo"itioll into their painlin,g~ George Pri ce Boyce was ab lc to bring a unifying vision into the landscapes he painted in the Midl.lnds and the North cou ntry (Fig. I 10). John William Incllbold is another mid -nineteenthcentury artist whose sense of light and keenness of colour were enhanced by t he example of the

112

109 Si m eO Il So lomOIl A Lady ill Chinese Dress

Edw,1rd tear Choropiskeros, Corfu

Pre-Raphaelite movement (Fig. I I I). Meanwhile earlier ways of looking at the world were not abandoned. Edward Lear is another globetrotter, driven by his restless temperament to wander over a range of territOry remarkable even in those adventurous times; his way of recording the memorable and picturesque scenes he saw, whether in India, Greece, Egypt or Albania, wasa wholly individual development oftheea:rliest form of tinted drawing, in which the outline is predominant and the colour laid on in light, very transparent washes (Fig. 1 12).

'J'


ENG tl S H WATE k COLO U k S

C' i

I.(.\' .J .

N

12:3 Joseph Crawha ll The Aviary

' 32


TH E LAT ER VI CTOR I ANS AND THE MODE R NS

12 7

Mark Fis he r Boys Bathing

' JJ


ENGLISH WATEI(COI.OUN.S

11 4

H d cn

Allin gham A COllagt'al Chidding/old

Albert Goodwin practised a diametrically opposed method, derived from his admiration for Turner, his training by Ford Madox Brow n and Arthur Hughes, and a trip to Italy with Ruskin 'to copy objects'. From these d iverse influences he developed a richly mottled and stipp led style, and incorporated a pen line with his thickly textured watercolour. His travels were even more widespread than Lear's, taking him to the South Seas and the West Indi es. Like so many of his contemporaries the most colourful phenomena of light had a fasci nation for him, a feature exemplified by his watercolour of Fireflies, Trinidad (Fig. 1 13). Even those artists who were most stay-at -home were addicted to a high key o f colour; if they could no! seck it in the Tropics they could at

, 34

least find it in the herbaceous border of thc COli Iltry garden. A whole school ofwa tercolouristssct about these subjects, of whom the most represcnt.lIive is Helen Allingham. She was married to the poet WiUiam Allingham, who was associated with the literary wing of the Pre-Ra phaelite movement Her scenes of Kentish conages became an ,lImost obligatory feature of exh ibit ions at the Old Watercolour Society and in collections of the late nineteenth century, and were much imitated {Fig. 1 14), The idyllic countryside of Birkel Foster and Helen Allingham was not of course the on ly scenery to be found in England in its ye,li"s of industrial expansion. A few. though very few, artists did set Ollt to record the less pictUl'csque though frequent ly dramatic, aspects of the British scene. The Sconish-born landscape paint er Sam Bough did not shirk this opportunity. In his View of a MarlU!acrurillS Town (Fig. 115). belll:ved to be in Airedale, Yorkshire, he manages to COIlVCY, amidst the pollution and the lack of convent io nal beauty, a sense of the excitement linked wit h the creation of wealth. Alfred William Ilullt, who carried the Pre-Raphaelite attachment to accuracy of detail to an extreme, found another aspect of daily working life in his study of the pier at Tynemouth after it had been damaged by a wreck (Fig. I 16). The practice of book illustration received a notable degree of encouragement durillg the secon d half of the century through the development of speedy ways of reproduction, partil.:lllarly through wood engra ving. It was also fostered by the spread of illustrated weekly and monthly periodicals. Many of the draughtsmcn who were employed to fill the demand worked up their designs into exhibition walercolou rs, which atlained a wide popularity. Millais adopt,cd this practice for some of his il lustrations to Trollope.


THE LATER V I CTOR I ANS AND T H E MODERNS

" 5 S.IIIlUci nou,1!h View of a Mat/ufaCll/rlllS Toll'''

•• 6 Alfred Wiliiamli Ulll ' IJ/ ue [.IShIS'. '[)'t/clfI(}ulh

PH'/'

figh/IIIS Ih., ["",mps CiI SumJolIJ"

'35


ENG li S H WI\TER COLO U RS

128 Gwe n Jo hn A$eatedCat

129 Am b rose M cEvoy The Artist's Wife l>


Charles Green Little Ndl aroused by tht Bargemen

1 18

119 A.B. Houghton The TransformatlOlI vfKing Beder


THE LATER VICTOR I ANS AND THE MODERNS

In the next generation of artists the acknowledged leader of the illustrative school was Frederick Walker. His work is highly wrought and he pays intensive attention to detail and to brilliant colour: qualities which can be seen in his large watercolour Autumn (Fig. I '7). Yet he was conscious of the danger of overlaying the aesthetic effect by too minute an approach, and remarked 'composition is the art of preserving the accidental effect'. Charles Green was one of the second generation of illustrators of Dickens, one Oflhosc who replaced the caricature of Phiz by more realistic representations of the author's episodes and characters. The gulf of feeling which divides his Lillie Nell aroused by the Bargemen (Fig.IIB) from Phiz's etching of the same scene is a fair index of the change of character which had affected art within twenty years. Phiz was the last ex ponent of the eighteent h-century tradition of exaggerated distortion and savage humour. It was Trollope's detestation of his style which Jed him to welcome the realism of Millais's illustration; Green and his contemporaries cont inued this more subdued approach. However, Arthur Boyd Houghton did salt a fundamentany realistic vision of domestic life with a sense of the absurd. He en larged his experience by visits to India and to the United States, and evoked a good deal of ill will by the goodhumoured but critical drawings he made of Shaker and Mormon customs. He was able to draw upon his contacts with the East for his illustrations for the Arabian Nights (Fig. I 19). His drawings were welcome to the Graphic, a periodical founded to present a radical view of society. But not all the works of the illustrators were pervaded by a sombre propagandist tone, as R.W . Macbeth 's Greeting the Postma" (Fig. 120) demonstrates. Watercolour played an important role in pro12 1 A lbe rt Moore An Opt'lI Book t>

viding for the collectors who wanted anecdotal pictures like those invented by Walker, Pinwell, Houghton, North and many other illustrators. It was also a main vehicle for the devotees of thatched COllages and gardens of dazzling florescence. But the art of the later nineteenth century was of immense variety, and the medium was c.a lled upon by most of its dominant movements. It is a feature of Romanticism to distance itself from the present by travelling in space or time. As the century progressed the frontiers of these explorations were advanced further and further. Themes from the Midd le Ages were sufficiently remote and wonderful for the Pre-Raphaelites; in the next generation the )Esthetics sought their escape in the world of Greece and Rome. Albert Moore found that subjects with an undefined Classical reference enabled him to indulge in the creation of unusual colour harmonies which are the real content of his art (Fig. I 2 I).


ENG LI S H WATE RCO tOU RS

13 1 Charles Sim s The Balhillg Parly

'4 0


THE LA T ER V ICT O RI ANS AND THE MODERNS

135 Wy nd ham Lewis Sunset among MkhrlangrlQs

'4'


ENGLISH WATERCOLOURS

, ... ,... •

,

121 H . D.

Br.lbazon Ischia

For a brief period in the 1860s Whistler also painted works of the same degree of remoteness from everyday life, find ing his ideal Shangri-la in Japan. $0 close were the methods of Moore and Whistler at the lime that an adjudicator had to be found to decide whether eit her had plagia rized the other's ideas. But in the main Whistler's interests were focused on the world passing in front of his eyes. He brought to England the advantages of ha ving studied in Paris at the time when the ideas of Impressionism were beginning to develop. His injection of a spirit of cosmopolitanism into the inbred and ingrown hierarchies of British art provided a much needed stimulus

'4'

I

for the growth of new ideas here. Most notably he reverted to the earlier conception of watercolour .IS a medium in which the paramount excellence lies in its use for sketches and in the explOitation of transparent was hes (Fig. Ill). Both in his own watercolours and in those of his successors, such as Arthur W. Melville and Joseph Crawhall (Fig.l23), we see a revolutiona ry protest against the dense textures and the body colour of the mid-nineteenth-cen t ury draughtsmen such as J.F. Lewis, W.H. Hunt, and Frederick Walker. This reversion to what was regarded as a purer approach had a fortuitous effect on the fortunes of H.B. Brabazon.ln reality a follower of Turner's


THE LATER viCTOR I ANS AND T H E MODERNS

later manner, his watercolours were exhibited in the 'nineties, when he was aged seventy. and fitted so neatly into these new tastes that he became fashionable (Fig. 124). It has been apparent how throughout the century the frontiers of travel had been expended by ,ntists in search of new and exotic material. Sir Alfred East was one of the earliest to take advantage oft he openi ng of Japan to the Western world (Fig.I2S). And though Crawhall did not himself travel in the Orient he was influenced by Chinese tcchn iqucs of calligraphy and wash drawing in his watercolours.

126 Jo h n Si!l~cr Sa rge n! Stmla Maria della Sa/lJte

125 A lrred E.1sl The Entrance to thl! Temple of KI)'Ortli::u-Dl!ra. K}'O/O, '('Ilh I'lIsnmsascendirlS

The reaction of British artists to the more advanced movements in European art was as cautious as Ih,lt of the col lectors. The New En glish Art Club was formed in the 'nineties as a focu s for those arthts who had become aware of 1m pressionism, but its members did nOl entirely lose their rather insular note of hesitation about a wholehearted adherence to Continental tenels. This was so even in the case of artists such as Sargent (Fig. 126) who had spent much time in Paris, the (emre oftheavant-garde. But the very insulation of these artists from a close adhel'cnce 143


ENGLISH WATERCOlOURS

138 H Cll r y Moore Pink and Green Slt:epers

'44


THE LATEK VICTOK I ANS AND THE MODERNS

r

~­

â&#x20AC;˘

11,. . .",,-

130 William Orpell The Draughlsman and his Model

to movements and enthusiasms could be a source of slre ngth when it came 10 working out their ow n unusual ideas. It may come as a surprise now that Mark Fisher was regarded in his own time as an Impressionist who had also imbibed the spirit of Constable (Fig. 127). On the other hand Gwen John's sturdy isolation enabled her to work out a personal obsession with her limited subject matter of cats and portraits (Fig. 128).

Ambrose McEvoy al tered the concept of society portraiture, representing his sitters in the broad, indistinci washes of the modern style instead of resorting \0 remorseless detail (Fig. 129). Orpen, who was a more orthodox portrait painter, achieved in his drawings an up-ta-date inlerpretalion of Ihe age-old theme of the artist and his model, conceived in a mood resembling the realism of H.G. Wells's contemporary novels (Fig. 1)0).

'45


EN GLI SH WATERCOLOURS

13'2 Ph il ip Wi lson Steer Chelsea R(ach

Alt hough he was appointed Keeper of t he Royal Academy. and therefore had impeccable traditional roots, Charles Sims's relation wi th that official body were by no means harmonious. But he had an instinctive sense of elegance, and his The Balhing ParlY reveals his talent for decorative d esign and the evocation of the idyllic mode

which prevailed throughout the Edwardian era

(Fig.13 1). Wilson Steer, who later became one of t he ch ief exponents of the extremely simplified style of watercolour painting, was in the 'n ineties a member of the New English Art Club; but at that time he was primarily concerned with oil painting


THE LATEII. V I CTO RI ANS AND THE MOD E:II.NS

and did not devote himself to watercolour in any quantity till the late years of his li fe. when he did. he produced some of the most evanescent and economical renderings of atmosphere which have been seen. and they arc a transcription in a Jess violent key of colou r of the later watercolours of Turner and H.B. Brabazon (Fig. 132). J .D. Innes was another representative figure of English landscape painting in watercolour in the first deca de of the twentieth ce ntury. As has happened so frequently in the English school of painting. his early death cut short a precociously

able talent. [n method he returned to the tradil ions of Cotman and De Win!. the method of broad colourful washes; indeed. his temperament led him to compose in the highest possible keys of colour. He was fortified in applying the deliberate and solid methods of composition of an ea rlier age by the precept and practice of Cezanne who. with the other members of the Post- Impressionist group, was beginning to be known in England at about this time (Fig. 133). The character of his art asserted itself definitely and early, and he had already at th e time of his death at the age of

133 J.D. In nes Waterfall

'47


ENG I. ISH WATE RCOlOURS

13'1 Elhel Walker The Bathers

twenty-six a number of followers, including Derwent Lees and. in his early landscapes, August us J oh n. T he Edward ians li ked to think on a big scale and conceive mural decora tions even if the opportunities to carry them out were often withheld. Many of Ethel Wa lker's compositions embody her conceptions fo r symbolic deeoriltions, as in hcr vast d esign fo r The Bathers (F;g., 34). The ilrts had entered the twentieth century fo llowing the principles w hich had gu ided them for the preceding 500 years. They were conceived in the mou ld formulaled by the Renaissance, of veracity of form and truth to Nature. From 1900

a whole wave of new ideas began to disturb this consensus. New theories of form and colour were combined with innuences from Japan, the Sou th Seas and Africa to prod uce a succession ofmove~ ments: Post ~ J mp ressio n ism, Cubism. Fut urism, Vorticism, Constructivism. Each was intended to replace exisl ing doctrines by a new and rev~ olutionar-y approilch, and each att racted fierce opposit ion. The phrilse 'modern art' ca me to have a pejorative meaning for its opponents and the ideas of the avant ~garde were fiercely combatted. As might be expected, the newer concepts were slow in reaching the British Isles. British art in the nineteenth century had


THE LATER VICTORIANS AND THE MODERNS

developed more from within than through conformity to the fashions in Europe. The olderestablished institutions, the Royal Academy. the Old Watercolour Society. became bulwarks of conservatism in art. When changes did come about they took on a somewhat different form from their European models by being adapted to that nonconforming, somewhat idiosyncratic temperament. The Vorticism which Wyndham Lewis expounded in his revolutionary magazine BIasi and in his paintings and gouaches (Fig. 135) was his own personal response to the Fu t urism

-.

-

-t

137 Graha m SU lhcrla nd Midsummer lAndscape

136 Paul Na.s h Sw"e FOrYst

propounded in [taly by Marinetti. Paul Nash reacted in a different and more sensitive way to the pressures for change which were sweeping across the Channel. His juvenalia were illustrat ions of poems conceived almost in a Pre-Raphaeli!e spi rit, and he remained at hean a Romantic illustrator. He drew the horrors of World War I in geometrical forms which have a diluted relationship to the devices of Cubism. In his later and more fully synthesized manner he reintroduced curving lines and rhythmical structures in works which convey a hint of mystical allusiveness (F;g., )6).

'49


THE LATER VICTOR I ANS AND THE MODERNS

But no single orthodoxy has emerged from the welter of experiment pursued throughout the middle years of this century. Diverse creeds ranging from pure non-figurative abstraction to remorseless realism have been reflected in the work of the watercolour painters, rather than being led by them. Within the genre there has been an extension of technical innovation, with the development of collage and use of new materials. This has led to the description 'works on paper' often bein~ substituted for that of watercolour. In a summary account it is only possible to identify a few representative figures to stand for the recent ferment of activity over the whole field ofwalerco[our. Graham Sutherland brought an anthropomorphic interpretation to the natural world and expressed his vision through many of the formal distortions found in some early Romantic landscape painters such as Samuel Palmer (Fig. 137). When he was comm issioned to record the reaction of the British public to the German air raids, in his series of 'shelter draWings', Henry Moore brought his sense of sc ulptural form to those remarkable groups of sleeping people. In making his drawings he extended the usual technique of line and wash to inelude the use of wax crayon whic h produces a fractured, gem-like texture (Fig. 138). Edward Burra brought a sardonic gaze to bear on the louche world of bars, ta verns and the Ha rlem sidewalks (Fi g. 139). At the other end of the figural spectrum William Scott abstracts from a simple arrangement ofshapcs a composition of which the prime subject is his consummate

'4 0 Willi am Scali Composition: fJ rolll1/,grt'yal1d red

conrol of edges and subtle sense of tone and colour harmony {Fig. 140). The s pread of international art exhibitions and periodicals, and the universality of traveL have ensured that an is a common language and that no one can remain long in ignorance of shifts in style or in fashion. In choosing their path amongst the multiplicity of ways open to them the more recent British watercolourists have shown that they prefer a loose connection with theory, and a personal interpretation of it, Lo rigid adhere nce to dogma. The confidence with which they use the medium is strengthened by the ci rcumsta nce that watercolour has been a national method of artistic expression for over two hundred years and has behind it the adventurous and animated history briefly summarized in this account.

<J 139 Edward Burra Harlem

' 5'


NOT ES FOR FU R T H E R R E ADING

These notes for further readi ng arc confi ned to s urveys which deal with the history of the English watcrcolour as a whole, or substantial sections of that history. These wilt in their turn di rect altcntion to Ihe numerous monographs on individual artists, many of which arc in the form of exhibit ion catalogues. Early English Walercolours by 1010 A. Wi lliams, ' 952, gives a comprehensive survey or the work of artists born before 1786. Watere%uI" Paintillg in BI"itain. 3 vols. '966-9. by Ma rlin Ha rdie. is a dcl1nitivc account of t he subject up to the end of the nineteenth century. The Concise Catalogue of British Watercolollrs in the Victoria and Albert Museum by Lionel Lambournc and J ean Hamilton, 1981, covers the national collection. in whic h the twentieth cen tury is also strongly represented. It is supplemented by monographs and cata logues orthe work or individual anists in that collectio n: on Paul and Thomas Sand by by Luke Herrmann , 1986, Mi c hilcl Angelo Rooker by Patric k Conner, 1'}84, John Varley by C.M. Kauffmann , 1984, Bonington, Francia and Wy ld by Marcia Pointon , 1985, and Samue l Prout by Richard Locken, 1985. Victorian Watercolow's by Christopher Newall, 1987, deals with the produc tions orthe later part orthe nine teenth ce ntury . The ex hibition ca talogue British wndseape Walen:olours 1600-1860 by Lindsay Stainton assesses the British Museum's holdings in that field. WorbofSplendour Qnd ImaginQtion: The E):hibilion Wate,.eolollr, 1770-187째 by Jane Bayard illustrat es i1llother spec ializcd as pect, mainly through t he collections or the Ya le Center ror British Art. The prese nt author's Watercololll's: a COllcise H istOlY, repri nted 1985, deals with the na t ional school in t he wider context or Western painting. 'rhe Tempting Prospect by Michael Clarke. 1982. traces the rise or watercolour landscape, its teaching and its practice by amateurs.


ILL USTRATIONS Mt"asurt"mt"nIS arc given in centimetres, lollowed by inches in brackets, height beCore widlh.

William T,lvcrner ('703-711) A 5andpll al Woolwich ]6.] >< 70.2 (14l >< 27il TH E TRUSTEES OF TH E 1111 ITISH MUSEUM

This drawing, executed mainly in body colour. once belonged to Paul S<lndby. II Tho ma s S.lndby ( 17113'98) Thr J>/Ozza, COllt:nl Garden S,>< 67·S(:WX26J)

VA I.E CENTER FOil 1I111T1SH ART PAUL ,'.IF-HOI" COllECTION

7 Tho ma s Hearne ( ' 744, , 6'7) Tht" COW'I Harlse and Guard /(ause lawn 0[51 John's, AIII/gua 51. [ x 7].6 (201 x 29)

THE TRUSTEES OF THE IlRITl S H

TIl E 1I0AII D OF TIIUSTEES OF TI l E

MUS EUM

V[CTOM I ,\ A NO A LIIE RT MUSEUM

3 P,ml Sandb y (l 73o-lfI<>9) The Arllst's Studio, 51 George's Raw, Ba)'swaler 22.9X28(9X II) THE TRUSTEES OF THE IlRITl S" MUSEUM

Paul Sand by moved to his house in Bayswater. with its newly built SlUdio in Ihe garden. in 1772. 4 I'a u ] Silildby Meming: View en the Road noor Hayswa//'r TUn/pike Signed and dated 1790 64.8>< 89(2S! ><]51 T il E BOAR 0 Of TR USTEES Of T H E V ICTORIA AND ALllhllT MUSEUM

The inn on Ihe left is The Old Swan. ncar Paul Sandby's home (Fig. ]). ~

6 Mi chile l'A ngclo' Rooker( ' 746-,IkI , ) Chapel of Ihe Greyfriars Monasrt"ry, WlIlchesler Signed 22·9)(28·](9><"4)

I'a ul Sandby AIJ AIJcirnl Berch Tn'/' Signed and d~led 1794 67.]>< 101.6(26!x40)

Iht"

Hearne spent the years ' 771-5 making drawings for Sir Ralph Payne. the captain-general and governor-ill-chief orthc Lct"ward Islands. 6 John \\Iebbc r( c.17~Q-93) View on Krakafoo/s/and, near the Straits ofSunda Signed and dated [786 ]]·7>< 43-] (I]! x 18i) THE 1I0A RD OF TRUSTEES OF TI! E VICTOR!A ANO A LBERT MUSEUM

The artist based this walerco!our on a sketch made whilst ht" was draughtsman to Captain Cook's third voyage. The \'olcanic island was the sile of a C~1astrophic eruption in [88]. 9 Tho mas Daniell ( ' 149- T840) Ruins of the Palru:e of Madura 41.6 x 55.1 (16i >< 2)1) TH E BOARD OF TR USTEES OF TH E V[CTORIA AN[)

ALII~RT

MUSEUM

TO Geo rge Chinnery (17H,,6)2) A RlI'er Scrnf' VICTORIA AND ALIlFRT MUSEUM [0.]>< t8(4i",1l This draWing, which is in body colour. TI! E BOARD Of TRUSTEES OF THE was apparently exhibited at the Royal VICTO RIA AND ALIIERT MUSEUM Academy in 1795 with thelille Mamlllg.

THE SOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE

III

" Tho ma s I\·tillton ,junior (IH6-,804 ) The Norlh Fro,,1 ofSI Paul's 6<} >< 27 (27l x ]8!) VALEC~NTEM FOR IIRITISH ART PAUL M!!LLON CO U ECTION

This watercolour was exhibited al the Royal Academy in 1785 and engraved in A Picluf/,sque Tour Throujh Ihe Cities of LondaIJ u"d Weslmmsler 1792. III Edward Dil yes{ '763, , 80.,) Bucbngham House, 51 Jamls's Par!': Signed and dalcd '790 39-4 x 64·7 ( ' 5~ x 2S!) T HE 1I0ARD OF T R USTEES OF TH E VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

'3 JameS Miller(Oourished '713'9 ') Cheyne Walk, Chelsea Signed and daled [776 40.9>< 62.8 (16~ x 24H TIlE BOARD OF TRUST EES OF THE V' CTO RI A AND A I.III!RT MUSIIUM

'4 Thomas Gai nsboro ugh ( 17111,66)

Village Scene ,l'ilh H()rsemen and Travellers lI.9 X ]I.I(8ix121J VALE CENTE R FOR BRIT'SH ART PAUl. M ELLON COt. LECT'ON I~ J 'lIl1esGi llril Y ('7 ~7- 1 61)

Cyman .and /phegenia l4· IX2 1. ](9!><8l) BY COURTESY OF SOT H~IIV 'S

,6 T ho m as Ro wlilndson Vauxhall Gardens 48.2 x 74.8 {19 x 29U

( ' 7~6-'6117)

TilE SOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE VICTOR IA AND ALB!! !!T MUSEUM

This watercolour was exhibited Oil the Royal Academy in 1784 and hccame well known through Ihe aquatint engraving of 1785. The Singer is said \0

' 53


LI ST OF I Ll.U STRATlON S

This watercolour comes from the be Mrs WeichselJ, mother o r the soprano collection of the 2nd Earl or Warwick Mrs Billington. On the righl the I'rinceof Wales is seen nirting wilh 'Perdi la· who sent Smith to II'l ly in 1776. Robin son. 'f he ligures in the supper "'4 ThonH' s .I()fIl:S ('7'F -.1Io3) alcove on th e len arc traditionally suplAk .. Ncm, posed to include Johnson ~nd " oswell. Indistinctly daled (1)1777 ~8.6 >< 42.8 (1 . 1 x 1(1) '7 Thomas Rowland so n Erl/rallct' fa thl' Ma/l, Sprillg Gardt'lls

T il E T R UST1iES OF TH E BRITISlt

}}.(I)' 47 (131 x 18!)

;o.IUSF.UM

TH E BOAR U OF TRUSTIiES Of Til f VICTO RIA AN I) ALIlERT M USli UM

,6 Thomas Rowlalld son lJodmin Moor

25 Frll nei s TOII·nt' (1 139 or 1740-16 , 6) The S4wITeoftlll: Arvemm Signed and d~ted 1781 42 X] I (I ('~ x 12l)

28· 4 X4l.9( 11 A >< 16l)

T H E BOAR !> OF I"H F. TR US fE ES OF Ttl E

VALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART I'AUL MHI.I.ON COLL ECT IO N

VICTORI A AND ALBERT MUSEUM

19 Francesco Zuee.uclli (170,,-88) M(l r ket

WOlllt' /1

(lnd C(l((it'

38. 1 ><'j'j·9(i'j X11) TIl Ii RO ARD OF TRUSTEES OF Till! V\CTOIlI A ANO AL IIIlIlT MUSEUM

The artist came to England ill Ihe 17'jos and returned to Florence in 1771. This drawing is in body colour. 211 PhilipJarnesdeLout herbo urg (1740-1612) Cataract (III the Llljgwy, near Com.'ay .Z2.2 x }1.1 (91 x u ..i) TIt E BOARD O F T H E TRUSTEES OF TltF V ICTO IlIA ANI) AUIFoRT MUSIlUM

2, .I o natha n Skelton (C.1735-59l Lake Albano and Castrl GC1I1dolpho }7·2X'j3 (l dx:.zo~ ) Wl tl TWO IiTH ARTGAI.I.ERY

"2 Wil lia m l'arS( ' 712-8,,) A VIt.'Wof Rome lakenfrom th(' Pml"io Sig ned and dat ed 1776 38.5 x 51.8(15k x 1I H YAU,C ENTER FOR I:IIl\ T IS .i AR T I'A UI. MELtON COLLECTION

23 John 'War w ick' S mith (' 749-1631) Sameu'fIrk m the Colosseum Signed 39 x S3·3( I'j jxl l ) T il F. Til USTE F.S OF T il E BRITI S Il MU~ EU M

' 54

26 Francis Tow ne AricCl(l Signed ,lnd dat ed July 11 1781 32.1 )( 46.8('l ix I SJ) T i l E TR USTEFS 01· Til E BRITISII

ThiS draWing WdS worked up from a skelch mddc by Cozens on his second visit 10 Italy, with William Beckford, in 1781. 30 Robert Dig ht on ('7~2-,8'''1 A Windy Day Scelleouwdetht'Sh()p of 80ll'le~, the PriTltselkr, m St Paul's ChuITh)'an/ 12 x 201-7 (121 x 91) T il E 80AIIO OF TIi USTEIiS Of TltE V ICT O IiI A AN I) ALBEIIT MUSIiUM

3' Joh n Collet (c. '7 25-80) Tht' A sylum for (h,> Deaf j'j.J>< SJ.5(13J x ~IU T il E BOAR!) OF TIiUS TEES OF TH E V IC TORIA AND AI.DE RT MUSEUM

3" Edwolrd Frd11cis 8 urncY('760-,846) Thf

Wall~

Signed 47.6>< 68.6 (18J x l7)

MUSEUM

TH f. BOAR\) OF TRUSTEES OF TltE

Towne has noted on l ht, backiog ortllis drawing th~t il WdS painted when morning sun was breaking over the chu rch and buildi ngs.

VIC TOR IA ANI) AlR ER T MUSEUM

"7 J o h n Rohert Coze ns (' 7~"-97) Mountain.~ in the Isk of Elba Signed and dated I 780 o r 1789 36.8)t51·7{ 1 4~ )t lll) TilE UOAR!> 01' TRUSTEES O F TH~ VICTOIi IA ANI) AL I:IER T MUSEUM

",8 J u hn Ro bert Coze ns Nrar Chiuut.7llIU

Jt/

the Grisnns

42.'j)( 61.2 (16~ x l4!)

33 Sd mucl H ierl)l1 y musG rimm ( ' 733-9'1) Mother Ludlum's Ho/o:, near Famham. Surrry Signed and dated 178 • 40.JX60(I'j~ x lliJ Til E IIOAR 0 OF TM USTIiES Of Tllf. VIC TORI A A NO ALflF.RT MUSEUM

3'1 Samuel H ie ron y musGriml11 The Macarolli Signed and dated 1774 17.4 x 14.7 (6, x 'j~)

YA !. E CI'NTlI R FOR HRI T IS II ART

THE 1I0Ali 0 OF TRUSTEIiS Of

I' AU ' . MEI.I.ON COUF.CT ION This i~ a finished walcrcolour

V I CTO IiI A ANU

made frum a sketch o n C01.ens's jourm:y throug h Swit1.erland in ' 776wil h Richard Payne Knight.

29 John Roberl Coze ns The Custle ofSt ii/mo, Naple.~ Signed and daled 1790 JO·s x 4'j( 11xI 711 Til F. T IiU STEES 0 1' TH F. illil T ISlt MUSEUM

AlB~ RT

T II~

MUSEUM

35 Samuel Shelley (1 150- , 608 ) I<assclas alld hiS sister Signed and dated 1804 5'j.p}8.5(2Ie x l'jU YA I.ECENTRR FOIiURITIS H AMT PAU L MELLON COLLECTION

Th is illustration to S,l mucl Johnson's R(l.~st'l(ls was exhibited al the first exhibition of t he 5<JoCicty of Painl ers in Water-Colours in ISo,;.


LI ST OF ILLUST RA TIONS

36 Ri chard Westall (1765-11'136) Rosebud, or the Judgemelll of Paris Signed and dated 1791 )2.J><)8(ll~)(J:>~) YAtECEN TIOR FOR IlMITISII ART PAUL MELtON COUECTION

This illustration 10 a poem by Matthew Prior wascxhibited al the Royal Academy in 1791 and substXJuemly engraved. 37 J uliu s CJcsa r Ibbetson (1 759-.6' 7) The Sale oflhc Pel Lomb 22.1><34.4 (8j >< Ilj) T i l!! 1l0A RO 0 1' TR USTEES O F T H E VICT O RI A ANn AI.BERT MUS lmM

36 Henry Fuscli ( '7'P -,825) Oedipus curslllg his son Polynift,s 51.4)(46.) (20l >< r81) TI l E 1l0ARD OF T il. US TIl ES OF TH"

44 J . M .\\'. Tu r n er 8ru-nrng of the Hou~s of Parliament 29·]><44(111 )( 171) THE TATE GA

Ll . ~RY,

t O N DON

THE BOARD OF T II UST EES OF THE

'15 J .M.W. Turner Lookmg out to Sra, Sfronded Whale 24 )( )},)(9i)( 1)1) T H ETATEGAUER Y, LONDON

46 J os h ua Cri slaJl (1766- 1647) A Gi rl PCf'ling Vegetables 44·4 x )4·9 ( 17! )( I )~) YALE CENTER FOR BR ITI SH ART PAUL M~LLON COl.l.l:CT ION

47 Joshua Cr ista ll Arcadum Landscapt' with Ht-rdsmen bya River Signed and dated t8)0 2,»(21.6(9j)(8H TilE TATE GALLE RY, I.ONnON

VICTO RIA AN I) AI. I:I ERT MUSEUM

39 Tho m,)sG irli u ( I775- 16m.) Ki rkswll Abbey Evening )0.5><:> t (12 >< 201) THE IIOARI} OF TR USTEES OF T il E

48 J o hn Glover('767-,8'19) Londscapt' with Caale 7'»( tll .8(29 1 x 44) BET U NAL GREEN M USIlUM ( I>1 XON BEOUEST )

VICTOIlIA AN D At ll " II T MUSEUM

40 T hom <ls Ginin Hilfsand River 14.9><25.6(6)( lOi)

<I'

49 George Barrel , jun ior ( '7670r '766-1842) Windsor Castit5)><7 1 .1(20 ~ )(18J

MUSEUM

VtCTOl<.lA AN D

TIl E T A"~ GAl.LER Y. LONIlON

42 J.M.W. T ur ne r Passage of /IIonl Cellis: Snows/oml Signed and dOlled Jan 15, 18:.l.O 74 x 101·5 (19!)( 40) IIIRMtNGHAM MUS EUM AND ART

MUSEUM

T II F.TATEGAL LERY, LONOON

54 J ohn Sell Co tman ('782-1142) Grc/a Bridge 22.7X)2.9(9)< I) TilE TI<.USTEES OF T IlE BRITISH M USEUM

55 J.S. Cotman 'fhe Drop Galc, IJuncombe Park ))><1) ( 1))(9) Til " T RUSTEES OF TIlE BKITlSII MUSEUM

56 Jo hn Crollle ( ' 768- 1821) Landscapt' It'ith COllages :>2. J >< 42. I (20} )( t6n T H E BOARD OF T RUST EES OF T it F. VICTO RIA AND Al.BERT M US I!UM

57 J .S. COlll1;1n Tit/' IJismosted Brig 20.1)()t(8)([2lj

58 J.S. Colman TnI' Lake [8.IX17(7!)(IO ~ ) THE BOARI) OF TIIU ST!!£S OF T il E

50 Robe r t Bi lls (1769-,844) A Vii/age Snow Sn'ne Signed and dJled 1819 J2.4><41. 4 (tl~" [6j) YALE CENT ER I'O~ BRITISH AliT PAUL M Etl.ON COLLECTION

5 ' Francis Nic hol so n (1 753- ,84·d StoJlrhead: 1"he Bristol H ~'Sh Cross 40,5>< 55.2 ( 16 >< 21 l l T H E T il USTEES 01' T il ~ BI<.ITISII MUSEUM

GALLERY

43 J . M .W. Turner Folkes/one from the Sea 48.7)( 69· [ (1 9 i >< 27 .\ )

ALBERTMUS~UM

M USEUM

TIl Ii BOAR n OF TRUS"fEES O F THI! AI. B~: IIT

V ICTORIA AND

T H E TRUSTf.F.S OF TIl E BR IT tS II

Til ~ TR USTEES 01' T H!! BRITISII

J oseph M<lJlnrd William T urn e r ( ' 775. ,851) The Old Rood - Pass of SI Gothard ,p.l>< )2(18 i x J2i)

53 George Feoud Robson ('788-1833) l..och Coruisk mId (he Cuchuliin Mountams, Isle of Skye 64.2)( [11.8 (151 ><44)

52 William Havell (1782- 1657) Garden Scelle all the Hraganw Shore. Harbour of Rio de Janeiro Signed aod dated 1827 34·) >< 51.5 (I)! ><loll T H E BO A RD OF TRUSTEES OF TIl E VICTORIA AND ALIIE RT MUSEUM

V ICTO IlI A AND ALI:IE RT MUSEUM

59 John Var ley (' 778- 18'12) Snowdon from COfll'l Curig )7.6)( 47.6 ( 14 ~ x 181) T I1 6 I.IOAIII) 0 1' TRU STIiES 01' Ti l f vrCTOIIIA AND ALI:IE II T MUSI!UM

This w,l lcrcolour is unfinished. 60 John Varley

Hackney Church Signed and dated July l Ist 18)0 27·<1)()8(101)([5) T ll f, T RUSTEf,S OF THf I.IIIlT1SlI MUSEUM

' 55


LIST O F II.LUST RA T IONS 6, I),n' id Cox ('783-.859) The Pont des Arts and thel..oUI'n! from the QIJ(II Conll. Pons 40.6" 67·] (16" l6U

18 ,, :15 (".( 9iJ

6g John Conslable StOllthhlSl'

T il l! TROSTI'ES. T tl E W AltACE

38.7" 59. 1 (15l x l]lJ

COLLICTION. LONDON

THE IIOAIID OF TIlUSTt'ES Of TIIR MUS~UM

Tit I! IIOARD OF TRUSTI!E$ OF TilE

VICTORIA AND AlIJIIRT

VICTORIA AN n AI nl!RT MUSIiUM

E"hibitt:·d at the Royal Academy in IS}6 with the quoution 'T he mysterious monument orS tonehenge. st<lnding remOle on a bare and boundless he.nh, as much unconnected with the even1.$ or past ages as it is with the uses oftht· present, earri(."li yuu back beyond .. 11 historical records intO the obscuri ty of a totally unknown period,"

6\1 lJa\' id Cox Th... Night Tram lS·P]S. I(ltj" 151 IjIRI'I I NGItAM MUSEUM AND ART GAI.I.IlRY

63 I)a vid Cox Hadrlon Ha ll: '["hl' HlI'er Sfep\ll\ " 31.6(91)< IlU

Til E TRUSTEES OF THE HMITISII MUSF.UM

7;' J o hn Scarlell 0 3V i5( .80-1- .844) The PortrSI Marllll. Pans Signed and dat ed 18]1 17.7"30(10." 'I ~ ) TilE IIOARIl OF TMUSTEES 01' Till!

1I1ltMING il AM MUSmJM AND ART GAI.LUV

70 J o hn Conslab le London from Hampstead. u'lth a doubll:" Rambow

6.. J'(·ter I)e Wint (' 784-1849) Old Ilou~.~ 011 the I!iSh llrid~. Llncolll

Inscribed 'between 6& 7 o'clock Evening JUIIC 18]1 '

]9·7" 5 ' .7 (lsi" 20i)

19·6 )(}2(,1"lli)

Tllii HOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE

T tiF. TRUSTI!ES 01'

VICTO RIA AND ALHUT MUSI!UM

65 Peter I)e Winl Gloverstn- from thr Mrcuiou!s IILtO 46.3" 6u(IS1 " 14U TlIF 80A RD OF TRUSTEIS OF Til E VI CTORIA AND ALllfltT MUSEUM

T"~

IIRITISII

This wal('reolour. made from the drawing-room window ofConSI.. blc·s house in Well w .. lk, l-IdmpSledd, illustrates the convergence of the sun's rays towards the hOl'.wn.

(180\1_18,8)

VICTOR I A AND AI. " "1RT MUSEUM

67 Anthon y Va nd y k e Co p ley Fielding ( 1787- . 8;'5) A Sh,p III /J,Wn'ss Signed and d;.tcd ,819 ')0.1 " loo·3(]sl X]9J) T IIIIIIO AIl U OF TIC UST~"S 01' Tit E MUS~UM

68 Jo hn COllslable ( ' 776- , 837) CO/lag.:s()ll HIgh Ground

1)X1 1. lls l)<8jJ Till! HOAIIU OF TRUSTIiI!S 01' TilE V ICTO IlIA AND AL8ERT MUSEUM

70 Willia m C..llow (.8,\I-'!)08) ThelLanrng Tower. Bologna Signed and d~lo!d 1864 40 .6 "]1. 1{16w.li) nlE HOARD OF TRUSTEES OFTIif.

77 Janll'S I-I olland ( ' 799"".870) OsfVd(Jl~ CIVile. Vrnice Signed and dated .8,;8 4 1 "58. 1(16, W201) TIl H BOA~D Of TMUSTEES OF THE YICTORIA AND AlliERT MUSFUM

78 Samuel Prout ('783-,8511) Rrgrnsburg Calht"dral Signed 65·5" 47·7 (25J" 18I)

MMora

TilE "011.110 OF TRIJSTli ES OF T il l!

VICTORIA ANIl ALHERT MUSEUM

V,CTORIA AND AUERT MUSEUM

M US£U~\

7' Richard Parkes Bonington

66 I'c ler Oe Wint Still Llfr IS" 2].9 (7' " 9!)

V ICTO IlI A ANIl i\LIIERT

H T h omasShoHer 80ys (.803-18H) The Houlrl'Ord des Itallms. Pans Signed and dated 18]] 37-l " ';9·7 (14 i )< l]!)

Signed and dated 1816

'5.l)( 17. 1 (6,,6;) rlH TROSTF.F.S, T II R WAI.LACI!

T.I H HOAR D OF TRUSTtiES OF

COLU !C TlON , I.ONO ON

VICTOMIA ANI) AlBEIlT ,\\US tiUM

This isan mustr~tion 'T he Corsair'.

\0

lIyron's pocm

7, ICI'.lJo n ingto n The Dogl.'·s Palace, Ve,uCt' /9.8 )(17-2 (71 " IOl ) T H E TRUST!!ES. Til B w A~I.ACIl CO~L!!CTION. ~ONI)ON

73 R.P. 80ninglon A Vl.'1Iell€lll Scl.'1le Signed

TII~.

79 Oa vi d K obcrt~( ' 791)..86.j) The Greal Temple of AmmO/I. Kamoe. IIIt'llyposlyll' Hall Signed and d'ltcd .838 49"33{19l x (3) YALECF.NTF.II FOR 81llTISil ART I' AUL MELLON CO UECT1DN

80 Wi lliam James Miille r (.8111-4;') nos. Lyela Dated Jan. I. 1844 ]5·4)< 55·3 (14)< ll .n ... II E TIIUSTEES OF Til E BIlIT IS II MUSFUM


LI ST O F ILL US TRAT IO NS 6 , CI.uksoll Sian field ( '793- , 667) A StOTm 16·5" 14·7 (6 1 "9n Ttl E TRUSTEES Of TH E BRITI SH M US EUM

6"2 Gco rgeS<: harf( ' 786- ,860) Thf GI)//e'ry of the' NfW Soc'tlY of PUllll fTS In WU/fr C%ur.f, ,8 )4 Signed and d.lled ,8]<1 19·6 .><)6 ·7 (II 1x 14U

VICTOIOA "Nil ALBUT M USII UM

83 W ill i.l m T u rn e r orOdo rd (1 789-, 86"2 ) I)olll)/I'S Comel 1858 l5·7 x 36.6 (lOi x [d) VAJ.E CFNTi! R FOR III1ITl S II AliT f'A UL MEL t ON CO I.LfCTION

This was exhibiled allhe Old WaurColour Sociely in 1859a5 Nl!ar O."(furdHalf-past 7a'clock P.M., Oct.5, 1858. Geo rge Caller m o lc ( , 800-66) MudJe/h ins/ ructmg tht murdl!/"f"rs tmploytd to hll Hanquo 34 x 49· 1 (']. ·'9.) THb BOAR!) or TRUSTEES OF Til" VICTOR I A AND AlllnT M USEU M

This ilJuSlr~les Shakespeare's M uciNth, ACI1, sce ne i. 85 Ue nry l:drld ge(171i9- . 6"2 ') Thomas fli.'amf

III

AsllS/t'aJ Churchyard,

SU"'-:>' Signed .lIld d,ued , 800 )).15.4(1]" 10) T i l ~ 1I0A R [l OF

VICTORIA ANIl A Uh RT

OF Tit E

88 Willia mHlake (1157· , 6"27 ) Tht RIl'er of Lift Signed )0·5)( )).6( 11" 1]1)

<16.9'" ]4.6( 181" 131) TItE T RUSTn:s OF TIt E IlRITISIt

9~

According to Blake's inscnplion, Ihe drawing iIIuSlrale5 the fi rst IWO verses of Revelalions. Chapler 12: . And he shewed me a pure river of waler of life. dear as crystal. proceed ing oul of the Ihro ne orGod an d or l he Lamb. In Ihc midst or the st reet ofil. a nd on eilher side oflhe river. was Ihere the tree of life, which bare twelve manner offruits. and yielded her fru il every month; and the leaves of l he trL-C were for the healing of nalions.· 119 W i lli,,111 Bla ke Thl! tn5Cnpllon Ot"U Hell Gote Signed 51·7"]7·4(lO{" 14l) T H ETATEGALLEIIV . LONDON

In Ihe inscription over Ihe gale Blake gives a version from memory of Oa nte' s 'Iaseiale ogni speranz;t voi ch 'enlrale' (abandon hope all you who enter here). 90 Edward Cal ve rl ('799+, 883) A Pmmtlllf' ellY Signed and daled ISn 6.8 " 10.1 (l i)( 4)

9' Francis 01 ive r I:inch ( ' lkn-&J ) EI'enmg: a Cf melfry 37·7 x 55.8 (141" 11) THE BOAIl!) or TIIUSTEES OF T H E ALH~RT

Senlt

/II

Signed

( , ~)

Iklgrnlv Squa ....

MUSEUM

9"2 Sallluel Pa lme r ( IBo5-8 , ) tn U Shon'ham Gardell 28.] x 22· 3( 1 I l. 8ll THE BOAIIO OF TRUSTEES

O~

BIR M ING H AM M USEU M AND AliT GAlLEIIV

95 Sa mu el Pal m e r Thr> /.nnel, 7"oWO'r 51.1 "70.8 (lol . 1711 VALHC I! NT~R

FOM HMI TIS H ART ['AIlL !>If. UON COLl f.CTlDN

This illuslra tion LO M ilLO n' s f/ PenS('nJ.fo wasexhibiled allhe O ld Wale r-Colour Society in 1868. Pal mer alsoelched Ihis su bj~L

96 J ohn U n nell (' 19"2-,88"2) M rs Wilbtrj"offf and her child Signed and dOlled 1824 ]6.2)( 26.7 ( 141 )( to!) VALE CENTER FO R BR ITIS H ART PAUL M ELL ON CO LL ECTION

Th is watcreolour orthe daughter-i n-law oflhe philanlhropi5t William W ilberforce is p;!inted on gesso laid on pando 91 Jo h n Lin ndl Coff~llI1g the Flock Signed and daled 1862 16,,]).6(1O! )( I)Jl V ICTORIA AN !) Al ll EIlT MUSEUM

M USEU M

V ICTORtA AND

s" mue! Palmer Anrll!l1l Rom e ]8.7)( 56.5 (151 x 221)

T H I! BOAR!) O F TRUSTHS OF TlH

M USEUM

6, Eugc nl' Lo ui s l..lmi

27.8" 45(11 " 18) V ICTOlltA AND ALB ERT MUSEUM

MU S ~UM

66 Alfred Edward Chalon (1 76 , . , 860) 'fh l! Oprru 80.1

Lone alld Shl.'d, Shon'ham T H E BOAIID OF TRUSTEES OF THE

TItE T RUSTIiES OF T H E HlttT ' S U

T Il U ST ~ES

93 Sa muel l·.:Ilmer

VICTOIl'A ANO ALBERT M USEU M

THE TATE GALLHlV, LONDON

Ttt E IIOA ~ J) OF TItUSTIlES Of T il e

6~

14.6" 14. 8 (51 "9J) or TRUSTEES 0 1 TItE

Tltl! BOAIl!)

TIlE

VICTO Il IA AND ALOUT MUSEUM

911 Ric hard l>add (.8 ' 7-86) SkeUh to iIIu.wratr the Passions: Tn'arhi'ry

Signed and dated 185] ]5-2)(24·7( 14 x 91) VALE CEN T ER FOR KRITISH ART PAUL M HLON CO LL ECTION

99 Ric hard Doy le ( .824-83) UndfT thl! Dock uallts - an Autumnal Ewmng's Orram Signed ~nd dated 1878

49·9 " n6 (191" ]o!) Tl l r TRUSTEES OF TIlE BRITISIf

MUSEUM

' 57


I. IST OF ILLUST RA T IONS

100 John Marlin ('789-18s4) The La.~1 Man 46.4 x70.5 (18j x27J) l. AINC A!!.TGAU.II K Y, NliWCASTLE UPON

TYN~

10 1 John 11rcd c ri ck Lewis (1805-76) The Hharccm (l7 x 67-3(Il~J x 2611 THE IIOAII:D OF T!!.UST EES 01' T U E VI C TO!!. I A AND AI.l:IEI!.T MUSEUM

E.x hibit ed at t he Old Water-Colour Society in [850. 102 WilJi;un He nry Hunt ( 179(H86-1) SllImb.'r 34.6x4J( IJi)( 16, ) B [RMI NG II AM MUSEUM AND ART

107 Jo hn Everett Millais(I829' 96) The cw of s{ Agnes: all ifllerior ul KnQle neur Sevenaaks Sig ned 20.8>< 27(8j >< 1 0~)

J4.JxJ5.3( IJl x 13H TH F 1I0A ltII OF TIWSTIl ES OF T Il E

VICTO!!.IA AND AI. IIEIIT MUSI!UM 114

T HI, OOAltll O F T It US" liF. S OF T fi E VICTO R I A ANO A[.OERT M USEUM

The walcrcolour illuSlrales Keats's 'The Eve (Ir s! Agllt.'S', stanza XXVI: Half-hidden, like J merm"id in sea-weed. Pensive awhile she dreams awake

3S·»<49·8(l)i x

VICTOIl IA AND A1.IIE II T MUSEUM

I I~

TH E BOAltD OF T lt USTE FS OF TIl II

M USEUM

WfllTWOItTll ARTGA I. LERY

' <>9 Simeon Solumun (,84 ()-'90~) " Lady in Chinese Dn'ss Signed and dated 1865 4 Ix 35·5( 16t>< 14) G MOSVENO R MUSEUM,

.,6 Alrred W illialll H unt ( 183!>-96) 'Wue Ughts', 'l"yl1emolllh Pier Ughllllg the Lamps at Slmd{)wTI Signed Jnd dJted 1868 36.1><52.7( t<j! >'201)

ClHST~1t

III) George I' rice 1I0 ye", ( . 826-97 ) At Hms..y, 'lear Oxford Signed and dal t.-d 1862 3l.7 ~ SJ.7(12! >< ll~)

" 7

T IH TRUSTUS, ellClt HIGGIN S A RT GALL ~ ltY ,

T H H II O A R t) 01' TltU STH6S OF 1'1\ E

IIEOFOItO. I: NCiI.ANO

II I John William Inch bold ( 1830-88) View abm'" MQ/ltreJJx Sig ned and dated ISS[?o1 3 L7 x 52.2 ( l lj >< loll TIl F. IIOARIl OF TR USTEES 0 1' Til E

V [CT OR I A ANI) Al.Il IlItT MUSIlUM

,,2 Ildward

l.e..lr(,81 11-88)

Choropiskeros, COrf', DJled '4 June 1856 47.8 >< 34·9(181 >< 131) TIl Ii TRUSTEES Of T Il F. lIR[T[ S Il MUSEUM

Til E HOAR!) OF TRUSTIl ES 01' TH Il V ICTO RIA ANU ALllll k T MUSEUM

The watercolour ilIuslrates Chaucer's 7'111' Frallklill'S Tall' .

,,6

Ch~

rl es G reen (164<>-98) Lillll?" Nell urlJused by the Hu'"Semt"l! 10·9 )( 14(41 x5!) TIll! 1l0AR I) 01' Tit USTF.F.S 01' Ttl I' V , Cl'OK IA ANI) AL Il IlR"I" MUSIlUM

V ICTOR IA AN I) A LI!l!kT MUSEUM

Tft bTATIl G A I.I.E k Y, LONDON

106 !,d Wolrd Coley Ilurllc-J o lles ( . 833-98) fJl)rigen of Hretaign<' IO/Igmgfor the Safe /{ewm of her Nusoo nd Sig ned 2(>.7 x 37.4(ltlJ x 14n

VAI.1i CIiNT I!R rOR I;IKITIS II A RT PA UL ME LL ON FUNO " reueri ck Wa I ke r (18.,0-7~)

Autumn Signed Jnd dated 1865 61.5 x 49.9 (l<j! x 19 ~ )

VICTORIA AND ALIlIl KT MUSEUM

105 nanl c Gabriel Rossetl i ( 18118-811) Tht" WeJdlllg IJf St Gt"Or;g<' alii/ Plincess Sab,v Signed and dated 1857 34 ·]>< 30 ( 13J >< 13l)

samuelilough (,8112-78) Virw of u Manufacturing Town 18.4 ><3 2 · [(7j x I2 il T Il Ii TII USTIiI! S OF T H E III1IT ISII

'9i J

V l!;TOlt l A AND ALIlEilT MUSEUM

10.] M y les Il irkel Fos te r (182S-99) 7'lIr M ilkmaid Signed and dated 1860 JO X44 ·5 ([ [ j >< 17 1)

Helen Allingham (Mrs William A llingh,u ll , ,U:'L' I' aterso n) ( 1848-19116) A CQtta.'~~al Chiddillsfold Signed 39·»< 33( IS! x [3) THF IIOARO O F T lt UST EE S OF T Il E

108 William HO],lIan H lIllt( 1827-'9IO) Nazareth

CAI.I. llkY

103 W illia m He nry lIunl Birds' Nests ami Primrosf!s

28><39('I :>< ' sD TliE 1I0AltD OF Tlt USTE ES OF TilE

" 3 Aluerl Goodwi n ( 1 8 4 ~-19311) FIreflies, 7'nmdud Signed and dJted '907

I '9 Arthur Boyd Houghl on (1836-7~) The T ram;fonf1(JtiQ'1of Kill8 Reder 49·5 >< 59·7( 19 1 ~ 13J) 0 1' T RUSTEES 01'

Til H OOAI! l)

T HE

V ICTOII I A AN I) A I.IIIIRT MUSEUM

This co mposition wa s conceived JS an il lust ration to the edition of Tilt' t\rabwn Nighls published by Dalziel in 1865. 1110 '(obert Walker Ma cbeth (,848-'9 ' 0) Gr"t'etiIlS IIII' PQSlmWI


LIST OF ILLUSTKA TIONS

14.6 x 20.7 (5I x 8~)

,~ ,

, ~8

137 Graham Sutherland (1903-60)

A Sf!al/'d Cal

Mldsulfllflrr Lalldscape

VICTO RIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

t5·S"11.8(6l"d)

67.9 x 47 (16i x 18!)

Albert J\·loore(,64'-93) AIIC)x1l8ook

VICTORIA AND ALBERT

O~

TH E

MUSI!U~ I

''.1'.1 Jumes M c Ncili Whistlcr(,634-1903) MOlh~ralld

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES O F TilE

BIRM[NGHAM M USEUM AND AR T

VICTO [(I A ANI) A I-IIERT MUSEUM

GALLE RY

129 A m brose l\kEvoy (1676- 1927)

41.9xJ1.2( 16} x 12l) Till, BOA liD OF TRUSTI!ES

Child on a Cuu.h

JB.I"26·7(7~"JO!l Tllii IIOARI) O P TRUSTEES OF THE VICTORI A AN II A I.BERT M USP.UM

''.13 J ose ph Cr~wh~1I (1861 -1913) Thl' Al'iary 50.8 x 35.5 (2 0 x [4) TilE IlURRELL CO LL EC TI ON. G LASG OW MUSEUMS ", ART GALI. ER IES

1'24 He rcules Brahazon Rr,lI)J zo n (1621- 1906)

J6X25.5(1 4 ~X

Signed and dJted '941 38" 55·8{1) " III

THE

T AT ~

10)

GALLEIlY, LON DON

' 30 WiJliilmOrpen(,876- 193 1) The OraughlSmall alld hIS Mod,'1 43-9 x 6'"3 (17l x ld) TII~

1I0A M0 OF T RUSTEES OF THE

V I CTO R[ A AND ALIIEMT MUSEUM

TIiIiTATEGALLERY. LONDON

'39 ';dwMd 8UTTJ ('90S-,6) Har/rlll Signed and dillcd '931\

79·5 X57(3 l jXll!) T II ETATEG AI.LERY , LO NO ON

'3' Ch,l rl esSims( 16n- I928) Thr Bathmg ParlY Signed

'4" W illiam SeQ" (b. '9( 3) COlflfWsitioll: BrowlI, grey and r ed

3[X4J (I2! X [7)

49.2 x 61. 5 ( J9 ~ ,(141)

T il E BOA ~[) OF TRU ST EE S O F Til E

TilE BOARD O F TR USTEI!S O F TIl E

VICTOIlIA AND AUIE MT MUS I!U M

VICTOR I A A NO AJ.IIE RT MUSEUM

Chelsea Reach

[dl

23x2B·5(9x Il l) LAING ARTGALLIl RY , NEWCASTI.E

VICTO RI A ANI) AJ./IE MT MUSEUM

U PO N T YN I!

(,6~9- 1 9'3)

The Hntrance 10 Ihe lJi!ra, Kyoto, It'lrh

T~mph'of Kiyomi~u­

Pilgrrlfl.~

ascendmg

Signcd 3B.6 x l6.1 (141 x [01) V[CTORIA ANI) A I. IlFIlT

133 James Dickson InneS( I887-19 14) Waterfall

l5·6x15·4( 14xI0) T H E TATE GALJ.E RY , LONDON

T H E IIOARO OF T RUSTF.f.S OF TilE MU~EUM

,26 Joho Si nger $,lrgcnt (1656-19'.15) Sonta Maria della Sa/urI'

45·7 >< 30 ·5(18xI 2) TIlE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF TH E V[CTOIIIA AND ALBE RT MUSEUM

'34 Ethel Willk e r(, 661-19S I)

·n ,e 8arhers 68 x 108.5 (l6l x 411) THE TATE GAU.l, RY , LON n ON

'3S I'crey Wyndh'"11 Lt'wis (1 684- 1957) SUII~l·1 among Mlcht'langelos

32.3"47.B([11x 18J) Til E I\OARI) O F

12, Mark Fisher(184'-'923) Boys Balhmg

Signed

17 x J7.5 ([O ~ x 14i) TIlE IIOARO

( I 6g8- I g86)

Sierpers

PmkanJ Gm.-n

THE BOARI) OF TRU ST EE S OF THE

A.lfrcd Eils[

136 Henry Moo re

The ArtlSI'S IVlfe

'32 I' h ili p Wi lso n Stccr ( 1660-1942)

Ischia

Signed [B ·7" 29.8 (7~ x

' ~S

Gwcn John ( , 6,6_ ' 939)

THE IIOA RO OF T R USTEES O F TH E

0 1' TRUSTEES 01' THE

VIC TOR IA AND At lll'RT MUSEUM

TRU~TnS

OF TIl F

\'IC TO[(IA AND AlBI!RT MUSEUM

136 P,lul Nash (1689-1946) Slone ForeSI

5B.P40(J3i x 151) WHITWORT H ART GALL ER Y

' S9


IND EX OF ARTISTS

Atlingham. Helen 134 lIarrei. George 57.掳4. 110 IIlake. William 76. 106. 110.

I)" Wint. I'eter l6. 49. 52. 60. 77.80- 1. 84-5. 92,147 Dighlon, Hobert 34 Doyle, Richard 119

III. 11 8. I I I

Bonington. Richard Pdrkes 49. 80. 92. 93. 98 Boug h. $.lmuel 134 Boyce. Geo rge Price 131 Boys. Thomas Shotter 49.92-3 Brabazon. Hercules IIrabazon 14 2-3. 147 I\urne-.iones. Edward n6 Burney. Edward Francis 34 Burra. Edward 151 Callow. William 49. <)2. 93 COllver!. Edward 110.122 Cauermole. George 98. 102 Chalon. Alfred Edward 102 Chinnery. George 15 Collet, John 34 ConsWblc. John 19,22.60.85. 83-9, ' 45 Copky Fielding, Anthony Vandyke 77,80,85,88 Cotman. John Sell 52,68,69. 72 -3,76. n 85. 1 <17 Cox, David 13,52.00. 77,80, 85.92. <)8 Cozells. John Robert 26,27, 3()-1, 46. 47. 49. 57, 68 Crawhall. Joseph 142, 14] Crista II. Joshua 60,61. 64. 69 Crome, John 72 Dadd, Ric hard 118-19 Daniell. Thomas 15 Davis, John Scarlett 92.93 Dayes. Edward I). 19.46.47. 49. 52

,60

East. Alfred 1'13 Edridge. Henry 4<),6<), 102 I~ inch,

francis Oliver 77, 110- 11 Fisher, Mark '45 Foste r. Myles Birkel 126, '34 "uscli, Henry 42, J06 Gainsborough. Thonlas 9. 19 GilIr'1Y. James 19.22 Gi rtin. Thomas 19. ] 1, 46, 47, 4<),51,69. 72. 76. 80, 81. 84. 8<).9 2 Glover. John 57.60-1,64 Goodwin. AI bert 134 Green, Charles 1]9 Grimm. Samuel Hieronymus J1

John, Gwen 145 Jones. Thomas 19.26 Lami, Eugene 102 Lear. Edward IJ I.I34 Lewis, John Frederick 12). 126. ['17, 142 Lew is. Percy Wyndham 149 Linnell,John 110,118.112 Loutherbourg. Philip James de I) , l2

Macbeth. Roben Walker 139 Malton. Thomas I). 16 Martin. John 122 McEvoy, Ambrose 145 Millais, John Everett 127, '34,

'39 Miller, James 19 Moore. Albert []9. [42 Moore. Henry 15 [ Muller, William James 98 Nash. Paul 149

Sandby. Paul 10, 11 - IJ. 26 Sand by, Thomas I()-II Sargent. John Singer 14) Scharf. George g8 SCOII, Willi ... m 151 Shelley, Samuel 34.38 Sims, Charles 140 Skelton. Jonathan 26 Smith. John 'Warwick' 26.30 Solomon, Simeon 1)0 Stanfield. Clarkson 77.98 Steer, I'hilip Wilson 146 Sutherland, Graham IS' Taverner, William 10,12 Towne, Francis 26-7 Turner. Joseph Mallord William 16.19.] 1,46,47,49. 52-),56-7,69.85. 1)4,14 2.

' 47 Turner. William g8 Varley, John 52,60, 76-7,80, 85.88, 110

Nicholson. Francis 64 Havell. William 64,68 Hearne, Thomas 1],15- 10,49. 57. 102 Hills. Hoben 57. (' 4 Holland. Jam es 92.93 Houglllon. Arthur Huyd 139 Hunt. Alfred william 134 Hunt. William Henry [23, [26,

Orpcn. william 1'15 Palmer. Samuel 77.1 10, I II, 115, 122, [51 Pars. Wi!!iam 12. l6. 57 I'roul, Samuel 49.93,97

'4'

Roberts. I)avid 13,77,98. [23.

']0

Robson. George Fennel 57. 68 Rooker. Michael Angelo 13. 15路 16.49.57 Rossetti, ])anteGabriel 126 Row la ndson. Thomas 19,22

Hunt. William Holman 127,

Ibbetson, Julius Caesar )8 Inch bold, John William 131 Innes. J;lmeS Dickson 147

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Walker, Ethel 148 Walker, Frederick 139,142 webber,John 10.15 Westall. Richard 38 Whistler. J ames McNeill 142 Zuccarelli. Fran cesco 22


REYNO I,OSO BE was for many years Keeper of Pai ntings and of Prints and Drawings at the Victoria & Albert Museum. London. He has had a d istinguished career caring for and w riting about British art and has produced some twenty books. including English Par'trail Miniatures. Constable, the Natural Painter. Victorian Painting. and Turner. He is on the Reviewing Committee on th e Ex port of Works of Art (in Britain). and has won the presti.gious Mitchell Prize for t he History of Art (1984) for his catalogue raisonne of The LAter Pa intings and Drawings of John Constable.

G RAHAM

New Amsterdam Books 171 Madi son Avenue New York, NY 100 16 ISBN 0-941533-43-.3


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English watercolors an introduction by graham reynolds (art ebook)  
English watercolors an introduction by graham reynolds (art ebook)  
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