“GOLDEN AGE” OF THE ENGLISH WATERCOLOR SCHOOL.
The works of masters of the Georgian era, who clearly showed the picturesque possibilities of watercolors, honed already known techniques and created many new ones, led to the true flourishing of the English school of watercolors in the XIX century. Many of the best old paintings of the Victorian era are executed in this technique. Researchers of antique painting in England with good reason claim that at the beginning of the XIX century, watercolor becomes almost the most important type of English fine art.
A sign of the popularity of the watercolor technique was the Foundation Of the society of watercolors in 1804. The initiator of the Society was William Frederick wells (1762-1836), a watercolorist and engraver, a member of the Royal Academy of arts, and a friend of William Turner.
The popularity of watercolors was also explained by the comparative simplicity and accessibility of the technique. There are many Amateur artists who have tried their hand at landscape and miniature portrait genres.
Since watercolors were in high demand, watercolors no longer needed to be distracted by finding other sources of income (as landscape painters of the previous period were forced to do), and they could give watercolors all their time and creative energy. Thanks to this, at the beginning of the XIX century, a number of new masters came to the forefront, each of whom could present his own creative manner.
Despite a short creative life, Thomas Gertin managed to leave students. The most famous of them is John sell Cotman (1782-1842). Coming from a cloth merchant’s family, he came to London at the age of 16, where gertin accepted Him for training in his workshop. In search of subjects, the talented marine artist traveled all the coasts of England and Normandy and left hundreds of paintings, drawings, and sketches.
English painting, Artist D. Kotman. In the Sands of Yarmouth.OK. 1820d. Kotman. In the Sands of Yarmouth.CA. 1820
In addition to his creative work, Cotman was active in teaching, including at king’s College in London. He also did a lot to promote English watercolors, being the President of the famous Norwich school of art.
According to lighting solutions and General color, many experts consider Kotman one of the precursors of the art Nouveau style. According to the British Museum, in the XX century, among connoisseurs of antique paintings, Cotman is the most famous watercolorist in England, surpassing even Turner in popularity.
David Cox (1783-1859) is considered one of the most outstanding landscape painters of the “Golden age” of English watercolors. Cox was a master of the techniques of oil painting and engraving. his father, a blacksmith and gunsmith, taught him how to work on metal, but his main love was watercolors.
English painting, Artist D. Cox. Castle in an autumn landscape.1849D. Cox. Castle in an autumn landscape.One thousand eight hundred forty nine
In his youth, David Cox took lessons from several artists, while working as a decorator in the theater. As a student at the Royal Academy of arts, he wrote several theoretical works on painting. Cox combined watercolor classes with teaching, and immediately established himself seriously in this field. His first pupil, who was delighted with Cox’s lessons and in gratitude introduced Him to the highest circles of England, was Colonel Henry Windsor, the future Duke of Plymouth.
Recognition of Cox as an artist came late enough, but it was immediately decisive and unconditional. He is a member of a number of societies of watercolorists in England, often exhibited. Two of his watercolors were purchased for Queen Victoria.
John Ruskin, who is known to us, wrote that no landscape painter can compare with Cox in simplicity and seriousness. David Cox is considered one of the early precursors of impressionism for the determination of the brushstroke and the boldness of the color.
Another representative of the older generation of the “Golden age”, Samuel Prout (1783-1852), was a master of urban landscape. At the same time, Prout found his vocation only at the age of 35. Before that, he painted rural landscapes, drew sketches of the facades of future buildings, and gave lessons.
English painting, Artist S. Prout. View Of Nuremberg.1823s. Prout. View Of Nuremberg.One thousand eight hundred twenty three
During his first trip to the continent, Prout, in addition to drawing facades, began to make watercolor sketches of streets, market squares, and old castles. His works have delighted friends and acquaintances with their subtleties of building outlines, half-hidden nuances of color and lighting that are not visible to the ordinary eye.
Prout’s legacy includes hundreds of paintings and sketches of urban views. Contemporaries compared him to Gainsborough, the Constable. In watercolors, critics considered Prout to be as much a luminary of the urban landscape as Turner was in the rural landscape. The ubiquitous Ruskin wrote that sometimes he was bored watching Turner, but never Prout.
Prout’s services were recognized at the highest state level – he was a full-time watercolorist at the court of George IV and Queen Victoria.
The technical virtuoso of watercolors, who mastered all its subtleties, was William Henry hunt (1790-1864). Unlike most of his colleagues in the craft, hunt did not travel much and spent most of his life on the coast in the resort of Hastings, where he constantly experimented, honing the technique of watercolor. He introduced new pigments into the paint, varied the shades of color, the degree of roughness of the paper, and so on.
English painting, by W. G. hunt. The nest of the Chaffinch, and the may bouquet.One thousand eight hundred forty five
W. G. Hunt. The nest of the Chaffinch, and the may bouquet.One thousand eight hundred forty five
The artist used his findings in completely unusual subjects before him – bird nests, ripening plums, and many others. And, of course, did not forget about the passion of any watercolorist-landscapes, having passed for the most subtle landscape painter of his time. The detail in hunt’s work is sometimes surprising and could make you forget about watercolors, but the incredible sensitivity to the shades of color is not peculiar to any other technique. His views of the coast at Dover, Hastings, household sketches-a symbol of simplicity and at the same time English elegance of the Victorian era.
William Henry hunt is represented in our collection.
MASTERS OF THE NEW GENERATION.
The fate of one of the most original watercolorists of the younger generation, who had a huge influence on the development of painting – Richard parks Bonington (1802-1828), is unusual. His family moved to Calais when he was 14. Already in France, Bonington began to study painting and could be considered a French artist, if not for one circumstance. His teacher was Francois-Louis Thomas Francia, who had just returned from England an enthusiastic admirer of Thomas Gertin. He taught Bonington the English technique of watercolors and introduced him to the works of English masters.
English painting, Artist R. P. Bonington View of Venice.B. d.
R. P. Bonington View of Venice.B. d.
In 1818, Bonington’s family moved to Paris, where he became friends with the later famous Eugene Delacroix. Bonington studies at the School of fine arts, studies the surroundings of Paris and hones his watercolor technique, drawing literally everything he sees. From these random sketches, a series of works was born, for which he received the gold medal of the Paris salon of 1824, together with John Constable and Anthony Copley Fielding.
English painting, Artist R. P. Bonington Fish market.One thousand eight hundred twenty four
R. P. Bonington Fish market.One thousand eight hundred twenty four
After a brief visit to England to review Turner’s latest works, Bonington returns to Paris, from where he travels to Northern Italy, resulting in his brilliant Venetian series. In 1828, the artist returned to London, where he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25, repeating the sad fate of his correspondence teacher Thomas Gertin.
Bonington’s works are the quintessence of the idea of watercolor, its lightness, airiness, elusiveness, the embodiment of light. Almost all of his works were sold at auctions immediately after the artist’s death, most of the buyers are English. And no wonder – on the walls of houses in foggy Albion, Bonington’s paintings could seem like a window to a different, brighter world. Both in England and in France, his work immediately gained many followers. And more than 30 years after Bonington’s death, Eugene Delacroix spoke about the work of his friend’s youth in terms more characteristic of an enthusiastic student than of a recognized master who stood at the origins of French romanticism. Many experts see a strong influence of Bonington’s creative manner on the masters of impressionism and the Barbizon school.
Doomed to popularity – so you could say about John Frederick Lewis (1804-1876), even if you start only from the subject of his paintings. The exotic East was the subject of Lewis’s interest. On behalf of his uncle, a book publisher, the artist traveled a lot in Europe, making sketches for future book illustrations, but he found his true love – the East – during a trip to former Arab Spain and Morocco.
Then there was Constantinople and Cairo, where Lewis remained for almost ten years. He got used to this city, became one of its “attractions”. William Thackeray, an old friend of Lewis, brought it out in one of his works.
English painting, the Artist J. F. Lewis.Arabian night.OK. 1845D. f. Lewis.Arabian night.CA. 1845
Returning to London in 1851, Lewis brought with him many sketches and a number of ready-made watercolors on Eastern themes. His work made a splash in England. The excellent skill of the draughtsman, the masterly re-creation of a color scheme unusual for the West, the ability to convey the emotional atmosphere of completely ordinary scenes-all this put Lewis in the first row of watercolors of his time.
Very interesting biography of Samuel Palmer (1805-1881), one of the pillars of British romanticism, wrote with oil, watercolor, fine engraver, a teacher, a member of the creative group of “Ancient”, which anticipated some ideas the pre-Raphaelites.