Oil on board
Image size: 13 ½ x 10 ½ inches
Original gilt frame
Autumn Gold, Betws-Y-Coed
Oil on canvas, singed lower left
Image size: 24 x 13 ½ inches
John Brett was an artist associated with the Pre- Raphaelite movement, mainly notable for his highly detailed landscapes Brett was born near Reigate on 8 December 1831, the son of an army vet. His sister Rosa Brett was also an artist and during 1850 and 1851 they shared a studio. In 1853 he entered the Royal Academy schools, but was more interested in the ideas of John Ruskin and William Holman Hunt. Inspired by Hunt's ideal of scientific landscape painting, Brett visited Switzerland, where he worked on topographical landscapes.
In 1858 Brett exhibited The Stonebreaker, the painting that made his reputation. This depicted a youth smashing stones to create a road-surface, sitting in a brightly lit and brilliantly detailed landscape. The precision of the geological and botanical detail greatly impressed Ruskin, who praised the painting highly, predicting that Brett would be able to paint a masterpiece if he were to visit the Val d’Aosta in Italy. Partly funded by Ruskin, Brett made the trip to paint the location, exhibiting it in 1859, again to high praise from Ruskin, who bought the painting. Brett continued to paint carefully detailed landscape views, staying in Italy on many occasions in the 1860s. He was always keen to stress the scientific precision of his rendering of nature, but often infused it with moral and religious significance, as recommended by Ruskin.
In his later years he painted more coastal subjects and seascapes, subjects he came to know well due to his ownership of a 210-ton schooner, Viking (which had a crew of twelve), on which he travelled the Mediterranean.During summers in the 1880s Brett rented the castle at Newport, Pembrokeshire to use as a base for his large family while he painted, sketched and photographed the south and west coasts of Wales. An exhibition in 2001 at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff entitled John Brett - a Pre-Raphaelite on the Shores of Wales brought together many of the major works from this period of his career. Brett was also a keen astronomer, having studied the subject from childhood. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1871. Brett was a founder member of the Art Workers' Guild and Master in 1890.
The Approaching Storm
Oil on canvas
Image size: 29 x 39 inches
John Linnell (16 June 1792 – 20 January 1882) was an English landscape and portrait painter and engraver. Linnell was a naturalist and a rival to John Constable. He had a taste for Northern European art of the Renaissance, particularly Albrecht Durer. He also associated with William Blake, to whom he introduced Samuel Palmer and others of the Ancients.
Linnell was born in Bloomsbury, London. His father was a carver and gilder and Linnell was brought into contact with artists from an early age, and was drawing and selling portraits in chalk and pencil at the age of 10. His first artistic instruction was received from Benjamin West, and he spent a year in the house of John Varley the water-colour painter, where he had William Hunt and William Mulready as fellow-pupils, and made the acquaintance of Shelley Goowdin and other men of mark.
In 1805 he was admitted a student of the Royal Academy, where he obtained medals for drawing, modelling and sculpture. He was trained as an engraver, and executed a transcript of Varley's "Burial of Saul." By 1808, Linnell moved into the house of painter William Mullready, whose wife had accused him of infidelity with both other women and boys. It appears Linnell's association with Mulready caused the breakup of Mulready's marriage.
In later life Linnell occupied himself with the burin, publishing, in 1833, a series of outlines from Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and, in 1840, superintending the issue of a selection of plates from the pictures in Buckingham Palace, one of them, a Titian landscape, which he engraved in mezzotint.At first he supported himself mainly by miniature painting and execution of larger portraits. Several of his portraits he engraved in line and mezzotint. He painted many subjects like the "St John Preaching," the "Covenant of Abraham," and the "Journey to Emmaus," in which, while the landscape is usually prominent the figures are of sufficient importance to supply the title of the work. But it is mainly in connexion with paintings of pure landscapes that his name is known. His works commonly deal with some scene of typical uneventful English landscape, which is made impressive by a gorgeous effect of sunrise or sunset. They are full of true poetic feeling, and are rich and glowing in colour.
Linnell commanded large prices for his pictures, and about 1850 he purchased a property at Redhill, Surrey, where he lived till his death on 20 January 1882, painting with unabated powers until within the last few years of his life. He devoted himself to painting landscapes notably of the North Downs and Kentish Weald. His leisure was occupied with a study of the Bible in the original, and he published several pamphlets and treatises of Biblical criticism.
Linnell was one of the best friends and kindest patrons of William Blake. He gave him the two largest commissions he received for single series of designs—£150 for drawings and engravings of The Inventions to the Book of Job, and a like sum for those illustrative of Dante Aligheri.He was a friend of the painter Edward Thomas Daniell. A blue plaque commemorates Linnell at Old Wyldes' at North End, Hampstead.The plaque mentions that William Blake stayed with Linnell as his guest.
Portrait of a Lady
Crayon on paper
Image size: 10 x 16 inches
Pre-Raphaelite style frame
John George Sowerby
1849 - 1914
Watercolour, signed lower right
Image size: 9 x 11 ½ inches
Royal Academy in 1883 number 978
Edward Clark Haslam, JP, Newcastle
Thence by family descent
Attributed to Sir William Blake Richmond KCB, RA, PPRBSA
1848 - 1921
Oil on canvas
Image size: 20 x 28 inches
This Pre Raphaelite influenced work depicts a guardian angel holding the hand of a sleeping woman in a cave at night. Next to her lies unravelled scrolls, telling some important news or perhaps her shopping list for tomorrow.
Probably a sketch for a painting, often artists would have to produce a sketch to show a client first to get his approval. The sketch depicts strong outlines of the figures and lacking the final glazes to harmonise them as a finished work would.
Obviously by a well trained artist, the loose, spontaneous character of the sketch and the clearly visible, personal brush strokes give it a strong vigour. The artist creates a fresh and powerful subject, such as the deep sleep of the woman and the thoughtful gaze of the angel.
Angels are often thought to guide people in their sleep and release them from their worldly troubles.
The eighth child and second son of the portrait painter George Richmond, William Blake Richmond was named after his father’s great idol and mentor William Blake, while his godfather was the elder Richmond’s close friend Samuel Palmer. William entered the Royal Academy School in 1857, and in 1860 made the first of several visits to Italy.
The following year he began exhibiting at the Royal Academy. Between 1866 and 1869 Richmond lived and worked in Rome, where he met the Italian landscape painter Giovanni (‘Nino’) Costa, whose studio on the Via Margutta had become a meeting place for English painters visiting the city. Costa became the head of an informal group of English landscapists - including Richmond, George Howard and Matthew Ridley Corbet - who called themselves ‘The Etruscans’, and who found inspiration in sketching trips into the Campagna, guided and encouraged by Costa.
Although Richmond’s lifelong passion for landscape is reflected in the informal oil sketches that remained a constant production of his later career, it was as a portrait painter that he made his mark on his return to England.
One of the finest portrait painters of the Aesthetic movement, Richmond received numerous significant commissions for portraits, notably of William Gladstone and his niece Lady Frederick Cavendish and nephew Lord Lyttelton, Charles Darwin, the Duke of Argyll and the Princess of Wales, among others. He also produced several more informal portraits of such friends as William Holman Hunt, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Morris and Robert Browning.
Demand for his portraits continued throughout his career, and his success as a fashionable portrait painter earned him considerable renown. (Despite these accomplishments, the artist seems to have preferred painting large mythological subject pictures or small landscape oil sketches.
Richmond exhibited at both the Royal Academy and the newly-established Grosvenor Gallery, and in 1879 was appointed Slade Professor of Art at Oxford. He was also active both as a sculptor and designer of stained-glass windows, while throughout most of the 1890s he was engaged on the decoration of the apse and choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London with mosaics; arguably the most significant mosaic commission ever received in England.
Reflecting the artist’s close study of Byzantine mosiacs in Rome, Florence, Ravenna and Palermo, the mosaic decoration of St. Paul’s (for which Richmond also designed the stained-glass windows, lost or destroyed in the Second World War) was begun in 1891 and largely completed by 1896, although the last elements were not finished until 1904. In 1900 a major retrospective exhibition of Richmond’s paintings, drawings and sculptures, numbering almost five hundred works, was held at the New Gallery in London.
Alfred Clint RBA
Oil on canvas, signed & dated 1860
Image size: 15 x 22 inches
Clint, Alfred was the fifth and youngest son of George Clint ARA (1770–1854), painter and engraver, and his first wife. He was born in Alfred Place, Bedford Square, London, on 22 March 1807. A pupil of his father, Clint also studied from life with a society of students meeting first in Drury Lane and later at the Savoy. He was also at one time a member of the Clipstone Street Artists' Society, a sketching club. Ottley states that Clint initially painted portraits, as did his father, but that an unstated health problem compelled him to take up landscape painting, in which he was self-taught.
Clint exhibited for the first time in 1828 at both the Society of British Artists' galleries in Suffolk Street, London, and the British Institution. In the following year his Study from Nature was accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy. By the close of his career he had exhibited in excess of 400 landscapes and coastal views at these three institutions and others, by far the majority having been shown at Suffolk Street. Clint proved a capable administrator: he was elected a member of the Society of British Artists in 1843 and for some years held the office of secretary. He succeeded Frederick Yeates Hurlstone as president in 1869 and on retiring in 1881 was made honorary president. With others, he instigated both the Artists' Amicable Fund and the short-lived Institute of Fine Arts.
Clint is now best-known as a marine painter, especially of views taken on the south coast of England and the Channel Islands. He also painted views of the British countryside, accompanying the actor George John Bennett on the second of his Welsh journeys, and contributed twenty etchings to Bennett's The Pedestrian's Guide through North Wales, published in 1838. Paintings bearing Welsh titles were exhibited at Suffolk Street and the Royal Academy in 1839 and 1840. His Hampstead from the South-East (c.1852–3) is in the Tate collection, and Morning: London from Highgate of 1841 is in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. These two London scenes are quiet and contemplative in mood, but frequently the groups of figures included by Clint animate the landscapes, while shipping and rough seas enliven the coastal views.
In 1855 Clint wrote Landscape from Nature, being the second part of John Samuelson Templeton's The Guide to Oil Painting in a series published by George Rowney & Co., suppliers of artists' materials.
For the last five years of his life Clint was forced to give up painting owing to failing eyesight. He died at his home, 54 Lancaster Road, Westbourne Park, London, on 22 March 1883, his seventy-sixth birthday. He was buried in the same grave as his father in Kensal Green cemetery and his remaining works were sold by Christies in February 1884.
Herbert Wilson Foster
Home from the Harvest Field
Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1886
Image size: 26 ¾ x 38 inches
Private collection, UK
London, Royal Academy, 1887, no.484
Herbert Wilson Foster was born in Endon, Stoke on Trent in 1846. He went to school in Hanley where he won medals for his artwork. His father was a pottery artist and unsurprisingly Herbert followed him into the trade, becoming a tile designer for Minton. Whilst there he worked on the commisiion of tile panels in the Victoria & Albert museum.
In 1872 Foster won the silver medal at the Worshipful Company of Painters. He moved to London to study, and later went on to study in France and Belgium.
His paintings were frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1873 and 1899, mainly focusing on portraits and rural village scenes. In 1893, he accepted a teaching position at the Nottingham School of Art, where his pupils included Dame Laura Knight and Harold Knight. Upon his death in 1929, the headteacher of the school, Mr Else, wrote in his obituary in the Nottingham Evening Post that 'Mr Foster was one of the most distinguished life masters in the country. He was certainly the best man we have ever had in that time.'
In addition to his many appearances at the Royal Academy, Foster's paintings were also exhibited at the Royal Institute, Royal Hibernian Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Oils and the city art galleries of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham.
1884 - 1944
Had I a garden, claustral yews should shut out railing wind
Watercolour, signed lower left
Image size: 10 x 14 inches
Original gilt frame
Painted by Lillian Stannard in 1920 it depicts the garden at Holme Lacy, Hereford and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1920, number 857. Lillian Stannard came from a family of artists, and was likely to have been taught by her father Henry Stannard, her earliest works were of butterflies, which we have an example in stock.
Stannard's passion was flowers and this influenced her work for over forty years, competing with the likes of George Elgood, Ernest Arthur Rowe and Beatrice Parsons.
By the time she was thirty she had become one of the most celebrated painters of English gardens. Her most prestigious admirers were the Royal Family, who purchased a number of her works.
The title was taken from a poem in a book by the poet-laurette Alfred Austin (1835-1913) "The Garden that I Love", where he says:
""Had I a garden, claustral yews
Should shut out railing wind,
That Poets might on sadness muse
With a majestic mind;
With ear attuned and godlike gaze
Scan Heaven and fathom Hell,
Then through life's labyrinthine maze,
Chant to us, All is well!"
Sir William Blake Richmond KCB, RA, PPRBSA
1842 - 1921
Egg tempera on wooden panel
Image size: 8 ¼ x 5 ½ inches
Period gilt oak frame
His father, George Richmond, was one of 'the Ancients' who were a group of artists who formed around the visionary artist and poet William Blake. Samuel Palmer was an other of the ancients and a close friend of the family.
Our painting could have been inspired by George Richmond’s engraving 'The Shepherd', 1827, but in our panel the shepherd is turned round facing away, and is playing a flute instead of resting on a staff. But the sheep and other elements are there.
Blake Richmond wrote:"If there be the least value in my pictures, it is due to such lovely early impressions derived from the sweet poetic work of many of my father's contemporaries, Calvert, Blake and others, whose shadows are substance still to me" [Sir William Blake Richmond, letter to his father, 50 years after the death of William Blake, from Stirling op. cit p. 28].
'Little events of this kind unite past times with present, create and emphasis continuity of human instincts, which seem to defy time and make travel so intensely interesting and invigorating to a citizen of this world. One need not go to the palace, far otherwise, or to cities and towns to discover the kernal of enduring civilisations. One finds it, if one wills to do so, in the backbone of the world, an ancient peasantry who have watched and still watch the progress of the stars'.
Oil on canvas
Image size: 22 ½ x 35 ½ inches
This is not only a very beautiful work of art but also a very important historical document of the estate. This painting is part of a great tradition of views of country houses in Britain, which first become celebrated in the work of artists such as Jan Sibrechts, Leonard Knyff and Jan Griffer.
Although the artists name evades us currently, it is by someone trained and highly competent. The sense of perspective and delicate representation of the sky to point out just a few of its artistic merits.
The painting depicts Knole House situated in Kent. The house is a complete early Jacobean remodelling of a medieval archiepiscopal palace. From an even older manor house, it was built and extended by the Archbishops of Canterbury after 1456. It then became a royal possession during the Tudor dynasty when Henry VIII hunted here and found the place a useful residence for his daughter - later to become Mary I - during his divorce from her mother, Catherine of Aragon.
1832 - 1915
Portrait of Mary Theodora Hale-White
Oil on canvas
Image size: 10 ½ x 7 ½ inches
Original gilt frame
William Hale-White, thence to his daughter Mary Theodora Hale-White; thence to her niece Cecily Hale-White; then to her godson John Hale-White; bought by Leonard Roberts in 1990.
Hughes later wrote of Pre-Raphaelitism 'it would be impossible to and dreadful to conceive what I might have been without it all, and I shudder to think of it'. Unlike many of his contemporaries within the Brotherhood Hughes chose to live quietly, but was very popular within the set and maintained lifelong friendships with most of them. 'If I had to pick out', wrote William Rossetti many years later, 'from amid my once numerous acquaintances of the male sex, the sweetest and most ingenuous nature of all, the least carking and querulous, and the freest from envy, hatred and malice, and all uncharitableness, I should probably find myself bound to select Mr Hughes'.
The father of five children, Hughes struggled to make ends meet through the sale of his paintings alone and so supplemented his income by illustrating books and magazines. Foremost among these publications were Good Words, Good Words for the Young, and Tom Brown's School Days.
Hughes died in Kew in 1915, leaving about 700 known paintings and drawings, along with over 750 book illustrations. He is buried in Richmond Cemetery.