Briton Rivière RA
1840 - 1920
Oil on board
Signed and dated 1876 lower left
Image size: 6 inches x 7 inches
Original gilt frame
Briton Rivière RA was born in London on 14th August 1840, the son of William Rivière who was a drawing master at Cheltenham College and then an art teacher at the University of Oxford. The family were of Huguenot descent. He exhibited a variety of paintings at the Royal Academy but devoted much of his life to animal paintings.
Briton was educated at Cheltenham College and Oxford, where he took his degree in 1867. For his art training he was indebted almost entirely to his father. His paternal uncle Henry Parsons Rivière (1811–1888) was also a noted watercolourist, exhibiting works at the Royal Watercolour Society, London and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. His first pictures appeared at the British Institution, and in 1857 he exhibited three works at the Royal Academy, but it was not until 1863 that he became a regular contributor to the Academy exhibitions. Early in his career, Rivière made some mark as an illustrator, beginning with Punch magazine. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1878, and a Royal Academician in 1881, and received the degree of Doctor of Civil Law at Oxford in 1891. He was narrowly defeated in the election for President of the Royal Academy in 1896. His wife, Mary Alice Rivière, whom he married in 1867, was also a painter and exhibited briefly at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1869–70. After his death in London in 1920 she presented the British Museum with four of his drawings.
The artist and his wife had seven children; five sons and two daughters. One of the sons, Hugh Goldwin Rivière (1869–1956), became a portraitist.
William Henry Hunt
1790 - 1864
Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1820
Image size: 11½ x 8⅜ inches
William Henry Hunt was a painter and watercolourist of fruit and flowers, landscapes and rustic genre. Hunt’s works influenced many Victorian artists.
Hunt’s parents decided on an artistic career for him, due to a deformity in his legs, which made it difficult for him to walk. He was apprenticed to John Varley in about 1804 and one of his fellow pupils was John Linnell. The two artists liked each other's work and went on sketching tours together, including one to Hastings in 1809.
In 1807 Hunt began to exhibit oils at the RA and in 1808 entered RA schools. By 1815 he had set up on his own as a rustic and architectural painter.
Hunt was elected to the ARWS in 1824 and the Old Watercolour Society in 1826. From about 1827 he began to paint fruit and flowers, and candlelight scenes.
Over the years his technique also changed, using body-colour he developed an individual method of hatching and stippling over a white ground, similar to that of Myles Birket Foster.
Hunt was sometimes referred to as Hedgerow Hunt or Birds Nest Hunt.
Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, Leeds City Art Gallery, Glasgow Art Gallery, Bushey Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Philadelphia Museum of Art. LiteratureWitt, Sir John Clermont. William Henry Hunt (1790-1864), Life and Work: with a Catalogue. London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1982.William Henry Hunt, 1790-1864. Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 1981.
Early 19th Century
A View of Beaufort Castle
Watercolour on paper
Image size: 3.5 x 6.75 inches
Watercolour and gouache, signed lower right
Image size: 35½ inches in diameter
Original giltwood frame
Shown at the Royal Academy in 1901
Léon Augustin Lhermitte
French 1844 - 1925
Pastel on Paper
Image size: 9 ½ x 12 ½ inches
Original swept frame
His many awards include the French Legion of Honour in 1844 and the Grand Prize at the World Exhibition in 1889. Lhermitte’s innovative use of pastels won him the admiration of his contemporaries. Van Gogh wrote that "If every month Le Monde Illustre published one of his compositions ... it would be a great pleasure for me to be able to follow it. It is certain that for years I have not seen anything as beautiful as this scene by Lhermitte ... I am too preoccupied by Lhermitte this evening to be able to talk of other things.'
1825 - 1895
Oil on board, signed lower left
Image size: 8 x 12 inches
Contemporary silver gilt frame
This painting has on the verso written by the artist that it was painted on the spot in September 1882.
James Webb was born and lived all his life in Chelsea, London. He was a landscape painter specialising in coastal and port scenes.
Webb painted scenes in England, Wales, Holland, France and along the Rhine. He painted figures and buildings with as much competence as he did landscape backgrounds, and his paintings have a feeling of tranquility and harmony to them. Webb used pale colours, but painted in a robust naturalistic style. He was influenced by J. M. W. Turner.
James Webb came from a very artistic family. His father, Archibald Webb, was also a landscape painter who painted a very famous picture of the Battle of Trafalgar. His brother, Byron Webb, was a London painter of animals who specialised in Highland deer, horse portraits and hunting and skating scenes.
Webb exhibited in London from 1850 to 1888, he had works at the Royal Academy (29), the Royal Society of Artists Gallery at Suffolk Street, The British Institute, The New Watercolour Society and The Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
His works are represented in The Tate, The Victoria and Albert Museum and nearly all the important provincial museums in England.
William Cave Thomas
1820 – 1896
The Cool Stream
Oil on canvas
Image size: 17 ½ x 11 inches
Thomas was a link, via his friend Ford Madox Brown with whom he shared a studio in 1848, between the Pre- Raphaelites and the monastic group of German painters known as the Nazarenes. Thomas studied in Munich in the early 1840s and adopted the Nazarenes’ severe style, hard outline and Christian subject matter. In 1845, three years before the Brotherhood was formed, Brown went to Munich to meet the two most important Nazarenes, Overbeck and Cornelius, probably at Thomas’ introduction. Thomas also knew Seddon and Rossetti, and was credited with giving the Pre-Raphaelite periodical The Germ its name.
In Munich in entered he worked under Hess on the frescoes in the Basilica. Two years later he returned to take part in the Westminster competitions, for which his training ideally equipped him and in which he twice won premiums. He exhibited at the Royal Academy (1843-62), the British Institution and elsewhere, concentrating on historical. literary and allegorical themes. Three papers by him on 'The Influences which tend to retard Progress of the Fine Arts' were published in the Builder in 1848, and a pamphlet, PreRaphaelitism tested by the Principles of Christianity: An Introduction to Chnman Idealism, appeared in 1860.
1817 - 1882
Oil on canvas, signed bottom right and verso
Image size: 9½ x 12 inches
Edwin Frederick Holt
1830 - 1912
By the Fireside
Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1877 bottom left and verso
Image size: 9 ½ x 13 ½ inches
Contemporary style frame
Holt was born in 1830 in Hampstead, but spent most of his life in Dunstable.
Edwin began his artistic career by studying at the Royal Academy of Art where he went on to win a Silver medal for his work at the age of twentyfour. . From this point on, his work continued to get recognised and many of his pieces were entered into exhibitions. In total, Edwin Frederick Holt exhibited seven paintings at the Royal Academy, twelve at the British Institution and forty at the Royal Society of Arts.
Thomas Cooper Gotch
1854 – 1931
Study of the Violinist for Holy Motherhood
Oil on canvas, on board
Image size: 28 ¾ x 21 inches
18th century frame
Mrs Deidre MacLellan, the artist's grand-daughter
The Golden Dream by Pamela Lomax, P.120 and 123. See cat No. c65
Holy Motherhood is one of a number of compositions by Gotch that were painted throughout the 1890s and 1900s in the new style that the artist adopted following a visit to Italy in 1891-2.
Compositions by Gotch post-1892 generally take as their focus the themes of motherhood and child development. Other examples of such work by him include, The Child Enthroned (1894), The Heir to All the Ages (1897), A Pageant of Childhood (1899, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) and Alleluia (1902, Tate).
These works, which share a common hieratic style and draw also on the symbolism of religious ritual, caused the artist to be linked with a contemporary revival of interest in English Pre-Raphaelitism.
The finished painting is on permanent display at the Laing Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
1863 - 1922
St Catherines Court, Bath
Watercolour, signed lower centre
Image size: 9 ¾ x 13 ¾ inches
Original gilt frame
Thomas Cooper Gotch
1854 – 1931
Study for The Child in the World
Oil on board, initialled lower right
Image size: 10 x 7¾ inches
Contemporary handmade frame
The Golden Dream by Pamela Lomax, P. 108
Mrs Deidre MacLellan, the artist's grand-daughter
Thomas Cooper Gotch (1854-1931) was an original member of the Newlyn colony of artists, the group that made such an impact on the late Victorian art world in England. He was a close and life-long friend of Henry Scott Tuke and Stanhope Forbes. From the mid 1880s, he was a leading figure amongst the young artists who attempted to resist the hegemony of London’s Royal Academy of Art, being a founder member and secretary of the New English Art Club.
After a trip to Florence in 1891, where he saw the paintings of Quattrocento artists such as Fra Angelico and Benozzo Gozzoli, Gotch's style changed quite dramatically. He abandoned the realism and monochromatic blues and greys of the Newlyn School for highly decorative allegorical subjects, vibrant colours and an attention to detail akin to that of the Pre-Raphaelites.
Gotch was working on 'The Child in the World' in 1895 and different versions exist in oil, pencil and water-colour. It portrays his daughter, Phyllis, encircled by a huge dragon. The powerful hues of the dragon's body contrast strongly with the innocence of the blue-eyed child, clad in a simple cream coloured gown. The subject is a representation of innocence and experience. Gotch explained it as the child "standing alone and unafraid in the innermost, horridest home of the Dragon, called the World, who is powerless against her innocence".
The oil version was exhibited at the New Gallery in 1895, being judged too radical for the Royal Academy. It received mixed reviews, for some critics thought the dragon more suited to pantomime than fear-inspiring. This irked Gotch who had spent a substantial amount of time researching the dragon in books on heraldry.