Art from Harrow

Today, Harrow is part of the greater London area but from this etching by #EdwardDuncan, one would be hard pressed to see that.  Edward Duncan (1803-1882) was a superbly skilled artist in his preferred media – that of watercolour.  In addition to his early training as an engraver, he trained in oils as well.  Duncan’s drawings comprise a wide range of subjects, treated with finesse and truthfulness to nature, but his best known works depict coastal scenery, with shipping and craft elegantly presented.

Harrow-on-the-Hill etching by Edward Duncan @ 1840

etching by Edward Duncan @ 1840

Harrow’s name comes from Old English hearg = “(heathen) temple”, which was probably on the hill of Harrow, where St. Mary’s Church stands today.  You can see St Mary’s with its tower reaching up over the town.  In the front of the church one sees another chapel with a shorter spire.  This is the chapel of the famous Harrow boys school which was founded in 1572 and grew slowly until the railway was built at which point it expanded quickly and today boards some 814+ students.  Duncan’s most sought-after works are his coastal scenes, but he also specialised in southern counties landscapes, often populated with animals and farms.  His watercolours are amongst the most technically defined and detailed paintings of the period.  This etching of #HarrowOnTheHill is of superb quality.  Wonderfully rendered.  Accurately portrayed, it exudes a warmth and peacefulness which only rural life can.  Sheep graze, farmers harvest, people stroll in a lush and verdant countryside.  A beautiful rendering.

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