T H Victor artist

I thought today we might travel to two places. One which I have visited and the other not. Firstly, a trip to the south west of England to the small fishing village of Mousehole, Cornwall. Three miles from Penzance, this quaint fishing village with its fisherman’s cottages huddled around the harbour will capture your heart. The artist #ThomasHenryVictor (1894-1980) also known as #W.Sands lived in Mousehole. He studied art but turned down a scholarship to the Slade School in London. It is thought that he never went further from Mousehole than Truro. The watercolour from my collection shows the harbour with its fishing boats along with the Lobster Pot restaurant and adjoining buildings. It is typical of his work in that it displays a busy harbour and uses a lively colour palette.

Mousehole by Thomas Henry Victor @ 1950/60

Our second stop requires a jump to the French/Italian border. The small town of Menton is the border between Provence and Genoa. It has been part of Italy, part of Monaco, but is now part of France. Because of its climate it is a fashionable tourist destination and houses some magnificent mansions and gardens. It is also renowned for its citrus fruit – tangerines, oranges, and lemons.

Menton, the Bridge Saint Louis – watercolour by George Gurney @ 1911

The watercolour shows the #BridgeSaintLouis at Menton with the Alps as backdrop. Done in 1911 by #GeorgeGurney (little info found on him) using a wide colour palette, this work displays the beauty and ruggedness of the area. What a view as one hangs out the laundry.

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Frans Vervloet artist

This week I picked up a small watercolour by a Belgium painter. #FransVervloet (1795-1872) received his early training in Brussels along with his brother. His aptitude for painting was noticed and he received a scholarship to study in Rome. He remained for two years mainly producing architectural works of the churches and ruins in the city. Naples was his next abode . Here he remained for 30 years. He established the ‘Scuola di Posillipo’. This group was characterized by a clear palette, sketchy brushwork, and lucid organisation.

Vervloet loved to travel in search of places and scenes to inspire his painting. This took him as far afield as Istanbul. In 1854, Vervloet moved to Venice. Where he resided until his death.

The watercolour, I acquired is of Santa Maria Salute in Venice. It is signed and the location is noted on the lower right. It is undated. It is known that Vervloet visited Venice in 1834-35 and lived in Venice from 1854 to his death so might come from as early as 1834. A nice image with excellent perspective and motion from the boats and gondola.

Santa Maria Salute, Venice – watercolour by Frans Vervloet
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Gwalior Fortress, India

I was given a watercolour this past week by a friend. He and his wife are moving and down-sizing. This work was painted by a distant relative of his wife. The sketch/watercolour was done by #MrsGranvilleBrowne in 1872. Even though she was an amateur artist, the depiction is very well done. The #Gwalior fortress may have existed from the 6th century. It has played a strategic part in many conflicts and has been control over the years by a number different parties including the British.

Inscription on verso of Fortress Gwalior watercolour.

Although done by an amateur this piece is more important from an historical perspective. I have not come across too many works of art from this time period involving India.

Fortress Gwalior – title and date lower right

I have two watercolours by #WilliamSimpson from 1862 and this a fine addition to that pairing.

A nice use of soft and muted earth tones combine with good architectural definition reveal a lady of some artistic talent. Pictured is the #SurajKund. A tank of water located in the fort. It is believed to have magical healing powers which would cure chronic diseases. Many people came and come to this place for a miracle. A calm and peaceful place with wonderful views of sunrise and sunset.

Fortress Gwalior, India, 1872 by Mrs. Granville Browne
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Eugene Louis Gabriel Isabey artist

I acquired a small watercolour which leads us to today’s focus, #EugeneIsabey (1803-1886). Eugene Isabey was born into an artistic family. His father Jean-Baptiste enjoyed the patronage of the French Imperial Family and he himself became a court painter to King Louis-Philippe. His works favour historical paintings, genre scenes and landscapes and some very fine marine/seascapes.

‘Wäscher am Fluss’ study by/after Eugene Isabey @ 1830’s

The small watercolour is possibly a study done by Isabey for his finished work ‘Wäscher an Fluss’. The rendering of the structures tells me that they were done at the same time as the oil painting. Slight variations in the people illustrated as well as an additional boat by the bridge are seen. It has a pin hole in each of the corners, which might mean it was possibly painted in situ. A nice use of soft colours and shadowing gives a good foundation from which to work toward a finished oil painting. A nice work for a study.

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Robin Anderson artist

Lately, we have been celebrating women artists and women in all fields of work and life . Today, I would like to take you to Kenya to see one of the countries (if not the African continent) premier women artist who was at the forefront of African modern art.

#RobinAnderson (1924-2012) was born in Kenya but her early training was done in London at Heatherley’s Art School. She returned to #Kenya shortly after finishing her studies. And with two fellow artists and friends opened the #GalleryWatatu in the early 1960’s.

‘In the beginning, Masailand, Kenya’ – gouache by Robin Anderson @ 1948

Robin became famous in the early 60’s for her silk batik paintings and prints which she sold via the gallery. She developed her own technique which combined oils, watercolour, batik and screen printing in the creation of works. She had traveled across Africa with her father and used what she had experienced as the source of her inspiration in producing ‘elegant figures and wildlife scenes’.

Masai Boyhood – gouache by Robin Anderson @ 1948

I came across and acquired three pieces by Ms Anderson. They are not silk batik works but are done in gouache on paper (from her early period). Striking colours and impressionism leap from the page. An amazing eye for structure and balance draw the viewer into her work. There is a sense of power and awe, of the harshness of life and yet peace and wonder are contained here through the beauty which is displayed.

‘What is man? (Victoria Falls) – gouache by Robin Anderson @ 1949

These pieces call out to the viewer. ‘Stand and gaze upon me’. These pieces are the true celebration of the female artist, who was Robin Anderson.

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Rudolf Haybrook artist

Today’s artist is better known for his WWII paintings some of which are in the #ImperialWarMuseum. #RudolfHaybrook (1898-1965) was a portrait and figure painted. He also designed sets for theatres. Haybrook was born in London, studied in Brighton and served in France during WWI. He was decommissioned due to shell shock. As WWII approached Rudolf was working for the Auxillary (London) Fire Service. He requested to become the official artist to the LFS but was denied due to lack of funds. Even so, Haybrook continued to paint all through his life and the wars. One would consider him a modern artist with tendencies toward impressionism.

Although this piece appears to be quite a realistic scene, Haybrook’s impressionistic side can be seen in the rendering of the trees on the right side of the painting.

The above pastel is not signed or titled but again displays the connection between realism and impressionism. A nicely performed work with good visual angles leading you past the man on the bench and down the path towards the indistinct people further away.

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Walter Henry Sweet artist

Today we travel to the southwest of the country -Devonshire- to visit an artist who specialised in working in watercolour. A man who painted harbour scenes, cottage scenes and moorland. #WalterHenrySweet (1889-1943) was a prolific and popular artist at the beginning of the 20th century even though he did not exhibit his work outside of the southwestern area. He studied at the Exeter School of Art under tutor and friend John Shapland.

In Minehead – watercolour by Walter Henry Sweet @ 1910

After serving during WWI, Walter moved and resided in Dundee, Scotland. Here he worked as a commercial illustrator for James Valentine and Sons.

Boscastle – watercolour by Walter Henry Sweet @ 1910

I have two Walter Henry Sweet watercolours in my collection. They are, I think, sublime examples of his artistic style. His use of soft pinks, muted greens and browns. The first painting shown is titled ‘In Minehead’ and displays a street leading up toward St. Michael’s Anglican Church and the second painting simply titled ‘Boscastle’ showing a mother and child strolling along a lane. I hope you agree with me that Walter Henry Sweet should be better known than he is. Two beautiful works showing the idyllic countryside of the southwest.

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Wensley Mill, Yorkshire

My wife and I have decided that a short holiday up north would do us good. There are a number of places which I am tempted to visit on the way. I have a number of pieces of art which have helped to hone my interest. We will look at just one.

I bought a small painting some time ago. It was done on an oak plank so has some age to it and has a couple of small chips which don’t deter too much from the overall effect. It is in need of a good clean and re-sealing though.

I know that there was an etching done from this painting (I believe) by engraver #GeorgeCuitt which was published in 1827. Hence my date of 1825.

Wensley Mill, Yorkshire – artist unknown (George Cuitt?) @ 1825?

The painting shows #WensleyMill in Yorkshire. The painting size is 250 mm by 385mm (the etching size is 240 X 300). There is a bit more to the right side of the painting than the etching. It is possible that that it was painted by George Cuit the Elder (1743-1818) or George Cuitt the Younger (1779-1854) prior to etching it.

The Wensley waterfall is tucked away from the view of passers-by. It tumbles down hidden by the old cottage used by the Wensley candlemakers. One can also visit the mill which at present is home to #WhiteRoseCandles

Of course, the wider Wensleydale area is famous for its crumbly cheese which was first made by a group of French monks who settled in North Yorkshire almost a thousand years ago. Also a favourite of Wallace and Gromit – the animated characters.

I think, you can see why I am tempted to visit. History calls out and beauty abounds. A good place for a visit.

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Joseph Yelverton Dawbarn artist

We visit a local artist for me.

#JosephYelvertonDawbarn (1856-1943) was born in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire (about 25 miles from where I live). Although Dawbarn read mathematics and law at Queen’s College in Cambridge he did not practice long as he did not find it enjoyable as a profession. He went on to study was art in Liverpool under the tutelage of #JohnFinnie. Dawbarn also traveled to Paris to learn under Fleury and Bouguereau.

Dawbarn loved to travel and paint. His works portray places from across Europe and the United Kingdom. Because proficient in both oils and watercolours. Dawbarn painted landscapes/cityscapes and rustic figures although he did venture into portraits and nudes.

Salen, Isle of Mull, Scotland – watercolour by Joseph Yelverton Dawbarn,,

The watercolour shown displays Dawbarn’s wonderful use of colours and skill at combining them . A fine view of the settlement of #Salen on the #IsleofMull in Scotland. I’ve been to Oban on the mainland and gazed at the Isle but not visited yet.

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Art with Inscription

This past week, I added what I thought was a nice ‘Italianate scene’ watercolour to my collection. On the back is an inscription. Now writing on artworks or books does not necessarily make them more valuable (usually less). The writing must be done by the artist themselves or someone famous to possibly increase value. That being said inscriptions can give historical information.

Inscription on verso of painting.

Above is the inscription from the verso of the small watercolour I acquired. It contains three names and a date. Onwards – 1838 is the year and the people are? Mr. Jacobsons remains a mystery but the the other two are known historical figures. #TheophilaGwatkin and #AnneGwatkin. You are likely still wondering who are they. Theophila Gwatkin (nee Palmer) (1757-1848) was an amatuer artist. She is better known as the niece of #SirJoshuaReynolds. She sat for him in a number of his paintings. Theophila Gwatkin had 10 children. Of those were Theophila and Anne -two of her daughter’s.

Lakeside vista

The watercolour has some talent to it. Could this be Robert and Theophila with daughter Anne strolling near their home, Killiow House in Kea, Cornwall? I will settle for knowing who the Gwatkins were and be content with not knowing the full story behind this work.

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