DAVID COX (1783-1859)

Travellers near Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire Derbyshire, probably 1830s Watercolour with gum Arabic 265 x 365 mm Cox uses warm browns and reds to depict two men travelling through woodland towards Hardwick Hall, which can be seen in the distance. Hardwick, a celebrated Derbyshire country house built in the 1590s, was among Cox’s favourite subjects. He … Read more

DAVID COX (1783-1859)

Farmer on Horseback Passing a Windmill England or Wales, probably 1810-50 Watercolour 283 X 400 MM Birds circle the calm skies as a farmer slowly rides his horse past a windmill. The low horizon and large sky is typical of Cox’s preoccupation with depicting changeable weather and atmosphere. He returned to the theme of the … Read more

DAVID COX (1783-1859)

Snowdon Gwynedd, 1853 Black chalk and watercolour, on Scotch paper 210 X 372 MM David Cox often travelled to Wales and frequently portrayed the mountains of North Wales throughout his career. This rapid watercolour sketch was most likely completed on the spot. Cox increasingly used ‘Scotch paper’, a type of wrapping paper, during his later years. The irregular, … Read more

Adrian Ludwig Richter (1803-1884)

Genoveva Dresden, 1848 Etching 420 X 250 MM This tender portrayal of a mother and child is based on an 8th-century folk tale that was popularised during the 19th century. Condemned and abandoned by her husband, Genoveva and her child found sanctuary in the forest, where they are tended to by a doe. Richter endows … Read more

Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (1759-1835)

A Youth Playing the Lyre to a Maiden at a Fountain in Luxuriant Vegetation Dessau, 1803 Etching The wild and overgrown foliage of this scene is a distinctive feature of Kolbe’s extraordinary and original art. He termed such images ‘Kraüerblätter’, or ‘vegetable leaves’. The intricate detail of the enlarged shrubbery is accentuated by the distinct … Read more

ÉDOUARD MANET (1832-1883)

Charles Baudelaire Paris, 1865 Etching Composed after a photograph by the French photographer Nadar, this etching captures the immediacy of the original photographic image. The short busy lines swirl across the paper to build up the likeness of the art critic and poet Charles Baudelaire. Nadar took a direct approach to his portraiture, intending to … Read more

HONORÉ DAUMIER (1808-1879)

Embrassons Nous Paris, 1867 Lithograph 286 x 283 mm Daumier produced around 5,000 caricatures during his career, which spanned an intense period of political unrest in France. In 1867, in a bid to appear more liberal, Napoleon III lifted the censorship ban he had imposed 15 years earlier. This cartoon was published soon after in Le … Read more

HONORÉ DAUMIER (1808-1879)

Et pendant ce temps-là ils continuent à affirmer qu’elle ne s’est jamais mieux portée Paris, 1872 Lithograph 283 x 275 mm Daumier was a Republican, but there is no sense of triumph in this depiction of the Monarchy as a withered corpse in an open coffin. The Franco-Prussian War (1871-2) and resultant turmoil created horrifying living … Read more

RUBY’S ROOM

Photographic Miniatures by Bettina von Zwehl An intriguing eye miniature in the collection of the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, was the starting point for this series of recent work by renowned contemporary photographer Bettina von Zwehl (b. 1971). While  producing a series of works inspired by historic painted portrait miniatures in the V&A and Bath’s … Read more

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

Loyalty, Plate 17 from ‘The Proverbs’ Spain, about 1816 Etching with aquatint and drypoint 244 X 357 MM Goya’s final series of etchings, The Proverbs (Los Proverbios), also known as Disparetes or Absurdities, remain his most mysterious and enigmatic. Featuring a group of monks and friars, Loyalty appears to be concerned with the licentious behaviour … Read more

Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917)

Mademoiselle Malo Paris, the early 1870s Pastel on paper 522 X 411 MM Mademoiselle Malo has not been conclusively identified, but apparently she was a dancer at the Paris Opéra.  Degas began to use pastel for portrait studies in the 1870s and this fine example is one of the earliest.  Degas appreciated the qualities of … Read more

EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)

MISS LALA AT THE CIRQUE FERNANDO France, 1879 Black chalk with touches of pastel 470 x 320 mm In 1879 Degas made this preparatory drawing of Miss LaLa, an acrobat of mixed European and African parentage. Renowned for her agility, she performed throughout Europe. This daring perspective shows LaLa suspended from the rafters of the … Read more

SAMUEL PALMER (1805-1881)

The Rising Moon London, about 1855, published 1857 Etching, seventh state 269 x 366 mm A shepherd and his flock return home at evening in a scene also known as An English Pastoral. Palmer assembles different landscape elements, imagined and observed. The solitary figure, the sheep, and the moon are familiar from his earlier work … Read more

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER (1775-1851)

Ludlow Castle, from the North West, with the River Teme London, about 1800 Pencil, watercolour, scratching out on paper 357 X 572 MM Turner visited Ludlow in the summer of 1798 when he made a number of studies of the ruined castle and its surrounds. The pencil drawing of this scene was partly finished in … Read more