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Full text of "The development of British landscape painting in water-colours"



THE DEVELOPMENT 
OF BRITISH LAND- 
SCAPE PAINTING 
IN WATER-COLOURS 



EDITED BY CHARLES 
HOLME. TEXT BY 
A LEX ANDER J. 
FINBERG & E. A. 
TAYLOR 00000 



MCMXVIH "THE STUDIO" LTD. 

LONDON PARIS NEW YORK 

I If b OS </ 

a 7 /6-//tr 



CONTENTS 

ARTICLES / 

PAGX 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRITISH LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN WATER- 
COLOURS. BY ALEXANDER J. FINBERG ..... i 

(1) Introductory Remarks on the Idea of Development as 
Applied to Art ....... i 

(2) The Bearing of these Remarks on the History of British 
Water-Colour Painting ...... 3 

(3) The Development of Subject-Matter and Technique . 4 

(4) Some Famous Water-Colour Painters of the Past . 8 

Paul Sandby ....... 9 

Alexander Cozens . . . . . "*. 10 

John Robert Cozens . . . . . .n 

Thomas Girtin . . . . . . 1 3 

Joseph Mallord William Turner V . *,, 15 

John Sell Cotman . . ., . . 17 

David Cox . . . . -. * ,;.- . 19 

Samuel Prout . 'v . . . f . . 20 

Peter de Wint . * . . . \- . 21 

Richard Parkes Bonington . . . .21 

Myles Birket Foster . . . ... 22 

Alfred William Hunt . . . . '. x 23 

James Abbott McNeill Whistler . . . 24 

(5) The Work of To-day . . . . . ; 26 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRITISH LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN WATER- 
COLOURS : SCOTTISH PAINTERS. BY E. A. TAYLOR . . . 29 

ILLUSTRATIONS 

AFTER ENGLISH PAINTERS 

PLATE 

Birch, S. J. Lamorna, R.W.S. " Environs of Cam- 
borne" . V 

Cotman, John Sell, R.W.S. " Kirkham Abbey " . Ill 

Cozens, J. R. "Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo" . I 

Fisher, Mark, A.R.A. " Landscape "... VI 

Gere, Charles M. " The Round House " . . VII 

Girtin, Thomas. " The Valley of the Aire " . . II 
Goodwin, Albert, R.W.S. "Lincoln" . . . VIII 

Holmes, C. J. " Near Aisgill " IX 

iii 



PLATE 

Little, Robert, R.W.S., R.S.W. " Tidal Basin, Mon- 

trose" X 

Rich, Alfred W. "Swaledale" .... XI 

Smythe, Lionel, R.A., R.W.S. " Caught in the Frozen 

Palms of Spring "...... XII 

Turner, J. M. W., R.A. " Launceston " . . . IV 

Walker, W. Eyre, R.W.S. "A Pool in the Woods" XIII 
Waterlow, Sir E. A., R.A., R.W.S., H.R.S.W. " In 

Crowhurst Park, Sussex . . . . . XIV 

AFTER SCOTTISH POINTERS 

Allan, Robert W. Allan, R.W.S., R.S.W. " The Maple 

in Autumn " XV 

Brown, A. K., R.S. A., R.S.W. " Ben More " . . XVI 

Cadenhead, James, A.R.S.A., R.S.W. " A Moorland " XVII 
Cameron, D. Y., A.R.A., R.S.A., R.W.S., R.S.W. 

" Autumn in Strath Tay " . . . . XVIII 

Flint, W. Russell, R.W.S., R.S.W. " Autumn Even- 
ing, Rydal Water" . . . . . . XIX 

Houston, George, A.R.S.A., R.S.W. "lona" . . XX 
Paterson, James, R.S. A., R.W.S., R.S.W. "French- 
land to Queensberry, Moffat Dale " . , . XXI 
Smith, D. Murray, A.R.W.S. " On the Way to the 

South Downs" . . , . .:.: XXII 

Taylor, E. A. " A Bit of High Corrie " . . . XXIII 

Walton, E. A., R.S.A., P.R.S. W. " Suffolk Pastures " XXIV 



PREFATORY NOTE 

The Editor desires to acknowledge his indebtedness 
to the artists and owners who have kindly lent 
their drawings for reproduction in this volume 



IV 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRITISH 
LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN WATER- 
COLOURS. BY ALEXANDER J.FINBERG 

(i) INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON THE IDEA OF DEVELOPMENT AS 
APPLIED TO ART 

THE idea of development has played, for considerably more than 
half a century, and still plays, a large part in all discussions 
about art. And it is obvious that it is a very useful and at the 
same time a very dangerous idea ; useful, because with its aid 
you can prove anything you have a mind to, and dangerous, because it 
conceals all sorts of latent suggestions, vague presuppositions, and lurk- 
ing misconceptions, and thus misleads and beguiles the unwary. The 
most insidious and dangerous of these suggestions is its connexion with 
the ideas of progress or advance. The dictionaries, indeed, give " pro- 
gress" as one of the synonyms of "development," and amongst the 
synonyms of "progress" I find "advance," "attainment," "growth," 
"improvement," and "proficiency." So that as soon as we begin to con- 
nect the idea of development with the history of art we find ourselves 
committed, before we quite realize what we are doing, to the view that 
the latest productions of art are necessarily the best. If art develops, it 
necessarily grows, improves, and advances, and the history of art becomes 
a record of the steps by which primitive work has passed into the fully 
developed art of the present ; the latest productions being evidently the 
most valuable, because they sum up in their triumphant complexity all 
the tentative variations and advances of which time and experience 
have approved. 

Stated thus baldly the idea as applied to art seems perhaps too obviously 
at variance with our tastes, experience, and instinctive standards of ar- 
tistic values to be worth a moment's consideration. Yet we are all too 
well aware that this is the line of argument by which every freak, every 
eccentric, insane or immoral manifestation of artistic perversity and in- 
competence which has appeared in Europe within the last thirty or 
forty years has been commended and justified. Certainly in England 
every writer on art who calls himself " advanced " is an evolutionist of 
this crude and uncritical type. At one time it was Cezanne and Van 
Gogh who were supposed to have summed up in their triumphant 
complexity the less developed efforts of Titian, Rembrandt, Watteau,^ 
*nd Turner, and at the present moment Cezanne and Van Gogh are 
bemg superseded by Mr. Roger Fry and his young lions of" The New 
Movement." 

The worst of it is that the idea of development, ot evolution, is a perfectly 
sound and useful one in certain spheres of activity. In science, for in- 
stance, the idea works and is helpful. The successive modifications and 

i 



improvements by which the latest type of steam-engine has been evolved 
from Stevenson's " Puffing Billy," or the latest type of air-ship from the 
Montgolfier balloon, form a series of steps which are related and con- 
nected with each other, and they are so intimately connected that the 
latest step sums up and supersedes all the others. No one would travel 
with Stevenson's engine who could employ a British or American engine 
of the latest type. There we have a definite system of development of 
growth, improvement, and increased proficiency. And we find the same 
thing if we look at science as a whole, as a body of knowledge of a 
special kind. Its problems arc tied together, subordinated and co-or- 
dinated, unified in one vast system, so that we can represent its history 
as a single line of progress or retreat. 

But art is not like science. Donatcllo's sculpture is not a growth from 
the sculpture of Pheidias or Praxiteles in the same way that the London 
and North- Western engine is a growth from Stevenson's model ; nor 
was Raphael's work developed from Giotto's in the same way. Works 
of art are separate and independent things. That is why Donatello has 
not superseded Pheidias, nor Raphael Giotto; and that is why the world 
cherishes the earliest works of art quite as much as the later ones. 
Yet we are bound to admit that we can find traces of an evolutionary 
process even in the history of art, if we look diligently for them. I re- 
member to have seen a book by a well-known Italian critic in which the 
representations of the Madonna are exhibited from this point of view 
(A. Venturi, "La Madonna," Milan, 1899). In it the pictures of the 
Madonna are treated as an organism which gradually develops, attains 
perfection, gets old, and dies. There is something to be said for this point 
of view. When you have a number of artists successively treating the 
same subject you naturally find that alterations and fresh ideas are im- 
ported into their work. These additions and modifications can quite 
fairly be regarded as developments of the subject-matter and its treat- 
ment. But such developments are always partial and one-sided, and they 
are accompanied with losses of another kind. If Raphael's Madonnas 
are more correctly drawn and modelled than those of Giotto, these gains 
are balanced by a corresponding loss in the spiritual qualities of sincerity 
and earnestness of religious conviction. It depends, therefore^on what 
narrow and strictly defined point of view we adopt whether we find de- 
velopment or decay in any particular series of artistic productions. 
From one point of view the history of art from Giotto to Raphael can 
be regarded as a process of growth and advance, from another, the same 
series can be taken, as Ruskin actually took it, as an exhibition of the 
processes of death and decay. The enlightened lover and student of art 
will look at the matter from both, and other, points of view, but he will 
realize that the theory of development does not help him in any way to 
find a standard of value for works of art. 
Art must be judged by its own standards, and those standards tell us 




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that each individual masterpiece is perfect in i$s own marvellous way, 
whether it was produced like the Cheik el Eeled or The Scribe, some five 
or six thousand years ago, or like the paintings of Reynolds, Gains- 
borough, and Turner within comparatively recent times. 

(2) THE BEARING OF THESE REMARKS ON THE HISTORY OF BRITISH 
WATER-COLOUR PAINTING 

THE direct bearing of these remarks on our immediate subject-matter 
will, I hope, be evident to all who are familiar with the literature of the 
history of British water-colour painting. 

The first attempt to form an historical series of British water-colours 
for the public use was begun in 1857, by Samuel Redgrave for the 
Science and Art Department of what was then the Board of Education. 
Thanks to Redgrave's knowledge and enthusiasm a worthy collection 
of examples of the works of the founders of the school was soon got 
together, and this nucleus was rapidly enlarged by purchases, gifts, and 
bequests. These drawings were housed and exhibited in what was then 
called the South Kensington Museum, and in 1 877 Redgrave pub- 
lished an admirable " Descriptive Catalogue " of the collection. As an 
introduction to this catalogue he wrote a valuable account of the origin 
and historical development of the art. Both the official character of 
this publication as well as its intrinsic merits, literary and historical 
for Redgrave and his brother Richard, who had assisted him in the 
work, were two of the best informed historians of English art in th*e 
last century combined to make it at the time and for many years after- 
wards the standard and most authoritative book on this subject. But 
its historical part has one serious defect, due perhaps to some extent to 
the unfortunate association of science with art in the same museum. 
Redgrave's conception of artistic development was evidently borrowed 
ready-made from the ideas of his scientific colleagues. He treats the 
chronological arrangement of the drawings in exactly the same way as 
the men of science treat the successive alterations and improvements 
which Stevenson's first model steam-engine under went; and as he found 
the earlier drawings approached very nearly to monochrome, while the 
later ones were highly coloured and fuller in the statement and realiza- 
tion of detail, he took it for granted that these changes marked the true 
line of progress and development in the art. The early " stained " 
drawings of Scott and Rooker were treated as the primitive and unde- 
veloped models from which the later and more elaborate works of 
Turner, Copley Fielding, Sidney Cooper, John F. Lewis, Louis Haghe, 
and Carl Werner were developed. Every fresh complication of tech- 
nique and elaboration of effect were hailed enthusiastically as signs of 
" progress," and brilliance of colour, richness of effect, and fullness of 
realization were treated as the marks of" the full perfection " of which 
the art was capable. In this way water-colour " drawing " became 

3 



" elevated " into the " perfected " art of painting in water-colours, and 
the beneficent cosmic process triumphantly produced paintings in 
water-colour which could actually " hold their own " in force and 
brilliancy of effect with oil paintings. 

As a temporary measure Redgrave's excursus into evolutionary theory 
must have been extraordinarily successful. No more specious doctrine 
could well have been invented to flatter and gratify all parties con- 
cerned at the moment ; the presidents and leading members of the two 
water-colour societies must have found peace and comfort in Red- 
grave's theory, and the general public must have felt that " enlighten- 
ment and progress" even in artistic matters were being duly fostered 
by an efficient " Committee Council on Education." But the theory 
has serious defects. It sets up a false standard of artistic value, it with- 
draws attention from the higher beauties of art to focus it upon merely 
materialistic and technical questions, and, what is perhaps still more 
serious, it prejudges the efforts of subsequent artists, and closes the door 
to future changes and developments. 

The importance of these latter considerations will be seen as soon as we 
turn our attention to the art of the present day and that of the period 
which has intervened between it and the date of the publication of Red- 
grave's catalogue. Consider for one moment the water-colours of 
Whistler, Clausen, Wilson Steer, D. Y. Cameron, Anning Bell, Charles 
Sims, A. W. Rich, Charles Gere, and Romilly Fedden, and judge them 
in terms of Redgrave's formula ! If we do we are bound to confess that 
they one and all stand condemned. If Redgrave's idea of the line of 
progress and advance is correct we are bound to believe that the works 
of these fine artists represent, not progress and advance, but decay and 
loss. Indeed, the two chief movements in art in the last quarter of the 
last century, the discovery of atmosphere as the predominant factor in 
pictorial representation what may be called for the sake of brevity 
the whole Impressionistic movement, and the later deliberate search 
for simplicity of statement, either in the interests of decorative effect 
or emotional expression, were seriously thwarted and hindered by the 
demands for " exhibition finish," so-called conscientious workmanship, 
and a standard of professional technique " real painting, as such," as 
Ruskin called it set up and maintained by the erroneous theories of 
artistic progress of which Redgrave was only one of the exponents. 
It is therefore of the utmost importance that any attempt to deal fairly 
and generously with the art of more recent times shall consciously and 
deliberately dissociate itself from such theories. 

(3) THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUBJECT-MATTER AND TECHNIQUE 
AFTER what has been written above it is to be hoped that the dangers 
attending the use of the word " development " have been exorcised. We 
intend to use the word merely as a synonym for chronological sequence, 

4 



and we have been careful to point out that the historical order in which 
artists appear does not coincide or run parallel with any growth, ad- 
vance, progress, or improvement in the artistic value of their work. 
Shorn thus of its stolen finery of theoretical prejudice and philosophical 
imposture the naked course of chronological sequence presents few at- 
tractions to the enthusiastic lover of the beautiful. It has, however, its 
uses. These are mainly mnemonical, for it supplies' the thread on which 
we string together in our memory the things strewn along the schedule 
of the years without apparent rhyme or. reason. The dates will not help 
us to pick out the good from the bad, but they help us to place among 
their proper surroundings the good things which our sympathies and 
instincts find for us. 

With this grudging apostrophe to the historical maid-of-all-work we 
will proceed with our survey of the brief tale of years during which our 
national school of water-colour painting has been in existence. The 
business of this chapter is to outline the development of form and con- 
tent, of subject-matter and technique. 

For the beginnings of British landscape painting we must look to the 
drawings and engravings connected with the study of topography, 
using this word in the ordinary sense of place-drawing, or the descrip- 
tion of a particular building or spot. Generally speaking the designs of 
the earlier draughtsmen are now known only through the engravings 
which were made from them. Roget, in his "History of the Old Water- 
Colour Society" (chapters i and iii, Book I) gives a full and interesting 
account of these engravings. The earliest drawings we need refer to are 
those of Samuel Scott (i 710-1 772) and his pupil, William Marlow (i 740- 
1813), Paul Sandby ( 1 72 5- 1 8 09), William Pars (1742-1782), Michael 
Angelo Rooker ( 1 743- 1 80 1 ) , and Thomas Hearne ( 1 744- 1817). - 
Working alongside these artists was another group of men who pro- 
duced "landscapes" which relied for their interest rather upon the sen- 
timents evoked by their subject-matter and treatment than upn the 
purely topographical character of their work. These painters of poetical 
or sentimental landscape may be said to have begun with George Lam- 
bert (i7io?-i765), Pxichard Wilson (1713-1782), and Thomas Gains- 
borough (1727-1 7^3). Of these only the latter used water-colour as an 
independent medium. His Landscape with Waggon on a Road through a 
Wood (British Museum) reminds one somewhat of the landscape studies 
of Rubens and Van Dyck, at least as regards the colour-effect and the 
feeling for atmosphere. Through Gainsborough the influence of 
Rubens and that of the Flemish conception of landscape painting was 
brought to bear on British art, while Lambert and Richard Wilson 
familiarized the younger artists andtheir patrons with the style and aims 
of Poussin and Claude. The same influences are discernible in the works 
of Alexander Cozens (d. 1786) and his son, John Robert Cozens (1752- 
1799), b tn of whom worked almost entirely in water-colour. 

5 



The works of these painters of poetical landscape taught the public to 
demand something more emotional in feeling and more dignified and 
impressive in treatment than the prosaic transcripts and conventionally 
composed drawings of the topographers. Their example also taught the 
rising generation of artists^ amongst whom we find Edward Dayes 
(1763-1804), John Glover (1767-1849), Joshua Cristall( 1767?- 1847), 
F. L. T. Francia (1772-1839), Thomas Girtin (1775-1802), J. M. W. 
Turner (1775- 1851), John Constable (1776-1 8 37), and John Sell Cot- 
man (1782-1842), how to meet those demands. 

In Turner's Warkworth Castle (V. and A. Museum), exhibited in 1799, 
and Girtin's Eridgnorth (British Museum), painted in 1802, we find 
these two streams of influence uniting. These drawings are at the same 
time both topographical and poetical; each represents a particular place 
with a good deal of accuracy, but in such a way that the drawing might 
just as correctly be called a poetical landscape as a topographical repre- 
sentation. 

This combination of fact with emotion, of representation with poetry, 
has remained during the whole of the nineteenth century and down to 
the present day the dominant characteristic of British landscape paint- 
ing. Sometimes the topographical factor was subdued or almost sub- 
merged, as in the water-colours of George Barret, junr. (1767-1842) 
and Francis Oliver Finch (i 802-1 8 62), but it is generally predominant, 
though alwlys in combination with emotional or poetical expression, in 
the works of William Havell (1782-1857), David Cox (1783-1859), 
Peter DeWint (1784-1 849), Copley Fielding (1787-1 855), G.F. Rob- 
son (1788-1833), Samuel Prout (1783-1852), William Hunt (1790- 
i864),Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867), David Roberts (1796-1864), 
J. D. Harding (1797 or 8-1863), R. P. Bonington (1802-1828), T. 
Shotter Boys (i 803-1 874), J. Scarlett Davis (i 804?-! 844), J. F. Lewis 
(1805-1876), W. J. Muller (1812-1845), William Callow (1812- 
1908), Birket Foster (1825-1899), A. W. Hunt (1830-1896), E. M. 
Wimperis (1835-1900), Tom Collier (1840-1891), and J. Buxton 
Knight (1842-1908). 

The course of development of the subject-matter of British landscape 
painting in water-colour we may, therefore, say has been somewhat as 
follows: it started with the object of recording as clearly and accurately 
as was possible the appearance of buildings and places, and it did this, not 
for purely artistic reasons, but in the interests of antiquarian, archaeo- 
logical, historical, or geographical information ; by the side of this 
place-recording activity there sprang up a series of painters who aimed 
at the production of landscapes as the means of artistic and emotional 
expression ; we then find these two groups acting on each other, the 
poetical school teaching the topographers style, design, " atmosphere," 
and emotion, and the topographers directing the attention of the poeti- 
cal painters to the observation and study of nature and the expression of 
6 



their own personal emotions ; and the outcome of this process is the 
present school of British landscape painters in water-colours, which 
attempts, both in its highest and in its lowest efforts, to do full justice 
to the progressive demands which the educated public has thus learned 
to make on the artist. 

We turn now to the development of technique. The earliest topo- 
graphers worked on white paper, on which, after the subject had been 
outlined in pencil such outlines being sometimes enforced with pen 
and ink, the general system of light and shade was washed in mono- 
chrome; the local colours were then washed over this preparation. The 
method, so far as the colours were concerned, was somewhat similar to 
that of tinting or colouring an engraving. In drawings executed in this 
manner by Sandby, Rooker, and Hearne the brilliance of the colours is 
somewhat subdued by the grey underpainting. But this is probably due 
to the fact that the artists worked only with their washes of transparent 
colour, relying upon the white paper asserting itself through these 
washes. The luminous effects produced in this way in drawings like 
Sandby 's Windsor: East Vie*9i>from Crown Corner (British Museum) and 
Rooker's St.BotolpKs (V. and A. Museum) have been so much admired 
that many living artists have deliberately gone back to this simple way 
of working. 

The effect of the grey underpainting on the finished work is, however, 
largely dependent on the artist's wishes. If he chooses to sacrifice the 
luminosity of the white paper he can paint over his preliminary washes 
with colour so heavify charged that it will practically annihilate them. 
This is what Girtin generally did in his later works, though it must be 
added that he also changed the colour of his preparatory washes from 
grey to brown. I am inclined to think, therefore, that Redgrave has ex- 
aggerated the importance of the use or disuse of these preliminary 
washes. 

The earlier poetical painters, like Lambert, and Sandby in his larger com- 
positions painted for exhibition purposes, worked in body-colour, i.e., 
opaque white was mixed with all the colours. In this way some ap- 
proximatidn to the force of oil painting was obtained. Another way of 
getting a similar result was to work with the paper wet. A good ex- 
ample of this method is Turner's Warkworth Castle. In this picture 
Turner tries to do in water-colour what Richard Wilson did in oils. He 
gets his effects of deep rich tone and force of colour by working with a 
heavily charged brush, sponging, and wiping out the lights with a dry 
brush or handkerchief or scraping them with a knife. 
The methods of Warkworth Castle were practically those used by the 
younger Barret, Varley, Copley Fielding, Cox, and De Wint, but after 
about 1830 we find opaque white coming into general use, at first 
merely to give increased force to the high lights, but later it was mixed 
freely with all the transparent colours, and toned or tinted paper was 

7 



used to give greater brilliance to the body-colour. John F. Lewis 
worked in this way, but the hardness and glitter to which it so easily 
conduced led to its abandonment by the later artists who set themselves 
to render the delicate gradations of the atmosphere. Yet one must 
admit that in the hands of a master technician like Turner all the 
unpleasant qualities so often apparent in body-colour work can be 
avoided, as the Rivers of France drawings prove. At the present time 
some artists, who aim especially at force and brilliance of colour, prefer 
to work in tempera, but it is doubtful whether this medium can rightly 
be regarded as a form of water-colour painting. 

On the whole we may say that the technique of water-colour has 
changed very little during the last two centuries. The chief change has 
perhaps been connected with the introduction, about 1830, of moist 
colours put up in metal tubes, a great convenience to artists in search 
of bold effects without the expenditure of much time or trouble. But 
even this has proved a doubtful advantage, and many artists have now 
gone back to the use of hard cakes of colour, similar to those with 
which the earlier men obtained their delicate and luminous results. 

(4) SOME FAMOUS WATER-COLOUR PAINTERS OF THE PAST 

IN the previous section we have deliberately refrained from saying 
anything about the purely artistic qualities of the works we have re- 
ferred to. This is because we have been engaged in a strictly historical 
survey, and to the eye of history there is no difference between the 
works of a great artist and those of a bungler. Both are equally patent 
and indubitable facts. It is the business of criticism to appraise the 
artistic beauty of works of art. And if in our historical survey we have 
kept our attention fixed generally on the works of the greater men, this 
is more the result of accident than design. Art criticism has already 
sifted much of the good from the bad in the work of the past, and it is 
more convenient, in a general survey of this kind, to deal with what is 
best known and valued. But because history can thus take advantage 
of what art criticism has done, that is no reason why we should confuse 
the two processes, and it cannot be repeated too often that historical 
importance or interest has nothing whatever to do with artistic value. 
The aim of this section is to make good the defects of historical study, 
so far, at least, as the limited space at our disposal will permit. With 
this object in view we have selected a baker's dozen of the more famous 
artists of the past, and we will endeavour to indicate some of the quali- 
ties which make their works a joy and delight to those who have the 
privilege of knowing them. In each case we will supply, in tabloid form, 
a certain amount of biographical information, as knowledge of the time 
and place in which an artist works and the conditions under which he 
produces helps us to understand what he has done ; we shall also 
attempt to point out the chief public galleries where each artist's works 
8 



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can be seen (when happier times bring about the reopening of our 
museums and art galleries), and the sources from which those who care 
for it can obtain fuller information and more authoritative criticism 
than we ourselves can supply. Such information as we can give will be 
as correct as we can make it, but it will make no claim whatever to be 
exhaustive. 

PAUL SANDBY 

[Born at Nottingham, 1725 ; entered military drawing office of the 
Tower of London, 1 746 ; draughtsman to a survey of the Northern and 
Western Highlands, 1 748- 1751, during which time he published some 
etchings of Scottish views ; worked at Windsor for some years from 
1752, where his brother, Thomas, was Deputy Ranger; chief drawing- 
master, Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, 1768-1797 ; elected 
Director of the Society of Artists, October 18, 1766 ; original member 
of Royal Academy, 1768 ; introduced the aquatint method of engrav- 
ing into England ; published first set of twelve aquatints of views in 
South Wales, 1774, a second set of views in North Wales, 1776, and a 
third set in 1777 ; died 1809. 

EXHIBITED : Society of Artists, i76o-'68 ; Royal Academy, i76o/-'77, '79~'82, '86-'88, 
'90-'95, '97-1802, 'oo-'og ; Free Society, 1782, '83. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery ; V. and A. Museum (Water-Col ours) ; 
British Museum ; National Gallery of Ireland ; Greenwich Hospital ; Diploma Gallery, 
R.A. ; Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Norwich, Nottingham, Glasgow, etc., Art 
Galleries. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : " Thomas and Paul Sandby," by William 
Sandby, 1892 ; " D. N. B." ; Roget's " History of the Old Water-Colour Society," 1891. 
REPRODUCTIONS OF WORKS : " The Earlier English Water-Colour Painters," by Cosmo 
Monkhouse ; " The English Water-Colour Painters," by A. J. Finberg ; " Early English 
Water-Colour," by C. E. Hughes ; " Water-Colour," by the Hon. Neville Lytton ; 
" Water-Colour Painting," by A. W. Rich ; " The Royal Academy " (THE STUDIO 
Summer Number, 1904) ; THE STUDIO, Jan. 1918.] 

Sandby was one of the most prolific of the earlier topographical artists. 
His numberless drawings and the engravings he made from them did 
more than any one man had done before to familiarize Englishmen with 
the beauties of their native land. He was an indefatigable traveller, and 
he was the first artist to discover the artistic beauties of Wales. 
He worked both in transparent colour and in gouache. His drawings in 
the latter medium, of which there are several in the V. and A. Museum, 
are distinctly inferior to his works in pure colour. They are scenic and 
conventional in design, feeble and pretentious in execution. His draw- 
ings in transparent colour, nowever, are delightfully fresh and vigorous; 
luminous in effect, and filled with proofs of keen and genial observation. 
They seem full of air and light, vivid human interest, and in their treat- 
ment of architecture and of all natural features they are at once careful, 
accurate and lucid without ever showing signs of labour or fatigue. In 
the abundance of his work and its variety Sandby approached nearer to 

9 



Turner than any other artist. But he had not Turner's subtlety of eye 
and hand, nor his exquisite sense of artistic form. His landscapes are 
well composed, but on conventional lines, and the whole material is 
never welded together into an original and impeccable design, as with 
Turner, Cozens, and Cotman. 

Sandby's Welsh aquatints with their many daring effects of light form 
the real forerunners of Turner's " Liber Studiorum." They display better 
than any single drawing the width and range of the artist's powers. 
As an engraver and water-colour painter Paul Sandby is a genial and in- 
spiriting personality. He transformed topographical draughtsmanship 
into something new and living, instinct with life and emotion. "And if 
we may not call him a great artist, we may at least say that he was a 
topographical draughtsman of genius." 



[Born in Russia, date unknown ; son of Peter the Great and an English- 
woman ; sent by his father to study painting in Italy ; said to have 
come to England in 1746; drawing-master at Eton School; 1763- 
1768 ; married a sister of Robert Edge Pine; elected Fellow of the 
Society of Artists, 1765; died in Duke Street, Piccadilly, April 23, 
1786. 

EXHIBITED: Society of Artists, 1760, '63, *6s~7 l J Free Society, 1761, '62; Royal 

Academy, 1772, '73, '75, '77-^79, '81. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; British Museum ; 

Manchester Whitworth Institute. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES: Leslie's "Handbook for Young Painters"; 

Redgrave's "Dictionary"; "Reminiscences of Henry Angelo," vol. i, 212-216; 

"D. N. B." 

REPRODUCTIONS: THE STUDIO, Feb. 1917; Finberg's " English Water-Colour Painters."] 

The date when Alexander Cozens came to England is given above as 
1746. This is what we find in all the reference books, and it is founded 
on a memorandum pasted in a book of drawings made by the artist in 
Italy which is now in the British Museum. This memorandum states 
that " Alexander Cozens, in London, author of these drawings, lost 
them, and many more, in Germany, by their dropping from his saddle, 
when he was riding on his way from Rome to England, in the year 
1746. John Cozens, his soti, being at Florence in the year 1776, pur- 
chased them. When he returned to London in the year 1779 he de- 
livered the drawings to his father." Now either the date in this note is 
wrong or, what seems a more probable explanation, Alexander Cozens's 
journey to England in 1746 was not the occasion of his first visit to this 
country, for there is an engraved View of the Royal College ofJLton, after a 
drawing made by Cozens, which was published in 1 742. It was engraved 
by John Pine, whose daughter afterwards became Alexander Cozens's 
wife. The existence of this engraving, which has been noticed by none 
10 



of the writers on Cozens's life, seems to point to the probability that the 
artist came to England at least four years earlier than has been supposed. 
It also shows how little we know about Cozens's early life, and it sug- 
gests a certain amount of scepticism about the constantly repeated state- 
ments on this subject which rest, apparently, either on dubious autho- 
rity or ort authority which has not or cannot be verified. 
Alexander Cozens's work attracted little attention in modern times until 
the late Mr. Herbert Home perceived its beauties. Public attention 
was first drawn to it by the " Historical Collection of British Water- 
Colours " organized by the Walpole Society in the Loan Exhibition 
held at the Grafton Galleries at the end of 191 1, which included five 
beautiful drawings by Cozens. This was followed, in 191 6, by an exhi- 
bition of Mr. Home's collection of drawings with special reference to 
the works of Alexander Cozens, held by the Burlington Fine Arts Club. 
To the catalogue of this exhibition Mr. Laurence Binyon contributed a 
valuable article on " Alexander Cozens and his Influence on English 
Painting." In this article Mr. Binyon does justice to Cozen's originality 
of design and to the emotional power of his drawings. " In his freest 
vein he uses his brush with a loose impetuosity which reminds one 
curiously of Chinese monochrome sketches the kind of work beloved 
by those Chinese artists who valued spontaneons freshness and personal 
expressiveness above all else in landscape." " It was indeed," Mr. Binyon 
adds, " the naked elements " (of landscape structure) " rather than the 
superficial aspects of a scene which appealed to his imagination ; and in 
nature it was the solitary and the spacious rather than the agreeably pic- 
turesque which evoked his deepest feelings." 

Alexander Cozens used colour sparingly and seldom. His best draw- 
ings are either in bistre or in indian ink, and he was fond of working 
on stained, or perhaps oiled, paper (which was formerly used for tracing) . 
Such paper has doubtless acquired a darker tone with age, and it adds 
to the " sombreness " of which contemporaries complained in his 
drawings. 

JOHN ROBERT COZENS 

[Son of Alexander Cozens, born 1752 ; made sketching tour in Switzer- 
land and Italy, with R. Payne Knight, 1776-1779 ; again visited 
Switzerland and Italy, this time in company with William Beckford, 
1782 ; became insane, 1794 ; died, it is said, 1799. 

EXHIBITED : Society of Artists, 1767-71 ; Royal Academy, 1776. 
WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; British Museum ; 
National Gallery of Ireland ; Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Fitzwilliam Museum, 
Cambridge ; Oldham Art Gallery (Charles E. Lees' Collection) ; Manchester Art Gallery 
(James Blair Bequest). 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : Edwards's " Anecdotes " ; Leslie's " Hand- 
book " ; Redgrave's " Century " and " Dictionary " ; " D. N. B." 
REPRODUCTIONS : Cosmo Monkhouse's, Finberg's, Hughes's and Rich's works, already 
cited; THE STUDIO, Feb. 1917.] 

I I 



\ 

It is really surprising that we know so little about this artist. During 
his lifetime his works were much sought after, and he must have 
been personally known to a number of distinguished people ; both 
Payne Knight and the eccentric millionaire, William Beckford, the 
author of" Vathek," and owner and rebuilder of Fonthill Abbey, with 
whom he travelled in Italy and Switzerland, and who both possessed 
a large number of his drawings, were voluminous writers, yet neither 
has deigned to tell us anything of interest about the character, person- 
ality, or even outward appearance of this very great artist. Both Beck- 
ford and Knight wrote (accounts of their travels, but one searches them 
in vain for a single word that would prove that these highly intelligent 
men had the shadow of a notion that the quiet and unobtrusive young 
" draughtsman " in their employ was one of the greatest artists their 
country had produced. 

We do not know for certain where or when John Cozens was born nor 
when he died. Roget says he " appears to have been born abroad when 
his parent was giving lessons in Bath," but he gives no authority for the 
statement, and so far as I know it has not been verified. The best evi- 
dence for the date of his birth seems to be Leslie's statement that he once 
saw a small pen-drawing on which was written, " Done by J. Cozens, 
1761, when nine years of age." If the date is correct Cozens was only 
fifteen when he began to exhibit at the Society of Artists. Constable 
stated that Cozens died in 1796, but most of the authorities give the 
date as 1799. 

That the artist was modest and unobtrusive, like his drawings, we may 
feel sure. As Leslie wrote, " So modest and unobtrusive are the beauties 
of his drawings that you might pass them without notice, for the 
painter himself never says ' Look at this, or that,' he trusts implicitly 
to your own taste and feeling ; and his works are full of half-concealed 
beauties such as Nature herself shows but coyly, and these are often the 
most fleeting appearances of light. Not that his style is without em- 
phasis, for then it would be insipid, which it never is, nor ever in the 
least commonplace." 

Constable was one of the first to realize Cozens's true greatness. 
" Cozens," he said, " is all poetry," and on another occasion he rather 
shocked Leslie by asserting that Cozens was " the greatest genius that 
ever touched landscape." Yet this assertion contains nothing but the 
plain truth. Genius is the only word we can use to describe the intense 
concentration of mind and feeling which inspires Cozens's work. To 
the analytic eye his drawings are baffling and bewildering in the ex- 
treme ; it is impossible to find a trace of cleverness or conscious artifice 
in them. They make you feel that you are looking at the work of a 
somnambulist or of one who has painted in a trance. They are, I be- 
lieve, the most incorporeal paintings which have been produced in the 
Western world, for the paint and the execution seem to count for so 
12 



little and the personal inspiration for so much. The painter's genius 
seems to speak to you direct, and to impress and overawe you without 
the help of any intermediary. 

In this respect Cozens is quite different from Turner. Even when he 
trusted most implicitly to his genius Turner was always the great artist, 
the great colourist, the incomparable master of his technique whatever 
medium he was working in. Beyond the sheer beauty of his simple 
washes of transparent colour there is hardly a single technical or execu- 
tive merit in Cozens's drawings that one can single out for praise or even 
for notice. Their haunting beauty and incomparable power are spiritual, 
not material. And as we can think of a spirit too pure and fine to in- 
habit a gross body like our own, so Cozens seems to be a genius too 
spiritual for form and colour and the palpable artifices of representation. 
Certainly no English artist relied more serenely and confidently on his 
genius, and subdued his art more absolutely to spiritual purposes. And 
this is what I think Constable meant when he called Cozens " the 
greatest genius that ever touched landscape " ; he did not say that he 
was the greatest artist. 

As one of our illustrations we reproduce the drawing Lake Albano and 
Castel Gandolfo by Cozens (Plate I) in the collection of Mr. C. Mor- 
land Agnew. 

THOMAS GIRTIN 

[Born in Southwark, 1775 ; apprenticed to Edward Dayes ; first en- 
gravings after his drawings published in " Copper Plate Magazine," 
1793 ; sketching tours, in the Midlands (Lichfield, etc.), 1794, Kent and 
Sussex 1795, Yorkshire and Scotland 1796, Devonshire 1797, Wales 
1798, Yorkshire and Scotland 1799; " Girtin's Sketching Society" 
established, 1799 ; married, 1800; went to Paris, Nov. 1801, and re- 
turned to England, May 1 802 ; his Eidometropolis, or Great Panorama 
of London, exhibited at Spring Gardens, August, 1802 ; died Nov. 9, 
1802 ; engravings of his views of Pa. is published shortly after his 
death. 

EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, 1794, *9S> '97-1801. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; British Museum ; 
National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland ; Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Ash- 
molean and Fitzwilliam Museums ; Oldham Art Gallery (Charles E. Lees' Collection). 
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : Edwards's " Anecdotes " ; Dayes' " Profes- 
sional Sketches"; Redgrave's "Century" and "Dictionary"; B.F.A. Club's Cata- 
logue, 1875; Roget's "History"; Binyon's "Life and Works," 1900; Walpole 
Society's Vols. II. and V. 

REPRODUCTIONS : Binyon's " Life " ; Monkhouse's, Finberg's, Hughes's, Lytton's, and 
Rich's works already cited ; THE STUDIO (Centenary of Thomas Girtin Number), Nov. 
1902; THE STUDIO, May 1916; Walpole Society's Vols. II. and V.] 

Compared with John Cozens's work Girtin's appears often self-conscious 
and artificial. His drawings were admired by his contemporaries chiefly 
on account of their style ; references to the " sword-play " of his pencil, 

'3 









the boldness and swiftness of his washes, constantly recur in their eulo- 
gies of his work. Girtin was nearly always a stylist, and often a 
mannerist. But his style, at its best, is so thoroughly in keeping with 
the spirit of fris work that it is difficult to separate the two. His love 
of the sweeping lines of the open moorland and his passion for height 
and space appeal irresistibly to our imagination, while the broad sim- 
plicity of his vision, his restrained and truthful colour, and his frank, 
bold, decisive handling seem the only adequate means by which his 
inspiration could find clear and authoritative expression. 
We must remember, too, that Girtin died at the age of twenty-seven. 
The knowledge of his early and untimely death intensifies our admira- 
i tion for all he did ; while the few supreme masterpieces of poetical 
landscape he has left us, like the P/inlimmon, show clearly what our 
national art lost by the tragedy of his early death. 
Girtin seems to have mastered his art as Robert Louis Stevenson 
mastered his, by "playing the sedulous ape" to the men he admired. 
There are now in the British Museum copies he made after Antonio 
Canal, Piranesi, Hearne, Marlow, and Morland. Of these masters 
Canal seems to have impressed and taught him most. The spaciousness 
and breadth of effect of all his topographical work are clearly the out- 
come of his admiration for Canal's drawings and paintings. The calli- 
graphic quality of his line work, what has been called the " sword- 
play " of his pencil, is also due to the same influence. 
His earlier drawings, made about 1792 and 1793, were, however, 
modelled on the style of his master, Edward Dayes. The drawings he 
made after James Moore's sketches of which several have been re- 
cently acquired by the Ashmolean Museum might easily be mistaken 
for Dayes' work. They only differ in being more accomplished and 
workmanlike than those which his master made for the same patron, 
and in their deliberate avoidance of the dark " repoussoir " of which 
Dayes was so fond in his foregrounds an avoidance which gives 
Girtin's drawings a greater unity and a more decorative effect than 
those of Dayes. 

By about 1795 Girtin's real style began to assert itself, in drawings like 
those of Lichfield and Peterborough Cathedrals. From this time we 
find him pouring forth an abundance of superb topographical subjects 
instinct with style and ennobled with poetry and imagination draw- 
ings like Rievaulx Abbey (1798), in the V. and A. Museum, Carnarvon 
Castle ', and The Old Ouse Bridge, York, both in the possession of his great- 
grandson, Mr. Thomas Girtin. The noble studies for his Panorama of 
London (made probably in 1801), his Lindisjarne (?i797) and Bridg- 
north (i 802), are fortunately in the British Museum. The drawings he 
made on his refyirn from Paris, during the last sad months of his fast- 
ebbing life drawings like the Porte St. Denis are amongst the most 
superb of his splendid productions. 



I will close these brief and inadequate remarks by copying out two ad- 
vertisements connected with Girtin's " Panorama " which I believe 
have not been printed or referred to by any one of the writers on his 
life and work. The first appeared in " The Times" on August 27, 1 802. 
It runs as follows: " Eidometropolis, or Great Panoramic Picture of 
London, Westminster, and Environs, now exhibiting at the Great 
Room, Spring Gardens, Admission u. T. Girtin returns his most 
grateful thanks to a generous Public for the encouragement given to 
his Exhibition, and as it has been conceived to be merely a Picture 
framed, he further bgs leave to request of the Public to notice that it 
is Panoramic, and from its magnitude, which contains 1 944 square feet, 
gives every object the appearance of being the size of nature. The situa- 
tion is so chosen as to shew to the greatest advantage the Thames, 
Somerset House, the Temple Gardens, all the Churches, Bridges, prin- 
cipal Buildings, &c., with the surrounding country to the remotest 
distance, interspersed with a variety of objects characteristic of the 
great Metropolis. His views of Paris, etched by himself, are in great 
forwardness, and to be seen with the Picture as above." 
The second notice is as follows: " Thursday, 1 1 Nov., 1 802. The Public 
are most respectfully informed that inconsequence of the decease of Mr. 
Thomas Girtin, his Panorama of London exhibiting at Spring Gardens, 
\\tfll be shut till after his interment, when it will be re-opened for the 
benefit of his widow and children, under the management of his brother, 
Mr. John Girtin." 

As an example of Girtin's work we reproduce The Valley of the Aire 
with Kirkstall Abbey (Plate II), from Mr. Thomas Girtin's collection. 
/ 

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER , 

[Born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, 23 April, 1775 ; worked in 
Life Academy, R.A. schools, 1792-1799 ; A.R.A., 1799, R.A. 1802; 
first tour on Continent, 1802; first part of " Liber Studiorum" issued, 
^1807 ; Professor of Perspective, R.A., 1807-1837; Crossing the Brook 
exhibited 1815 ; published "Southern Coast" series of engravings, 
1814-1826, "Views in Sussex," 1816-1820, Hakewill's "Italy," 
1818-1820, " Richmondshire," 1818-1823, "Provincial Antiquities 
of Scotland," 1819-1826, "England and Wales," 1827-1838, Rogers's 
"Italy," 1830, and "Poems," 1834, "Rivers of France," 1833-1835; 
exhibited Rain, Steam, and Speed, 1 844 ; died Dec. 1 8, 1851. 

EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, 1790-1804, '66-' 20, '22, '23, *25-'47, '49, '50 ; British 
Institution, 1806, '8, '9, '14, '17, '35~'4i, '46; Society of British Artists, 1833, '34; 
Institution for Enc. of F.A., Edinburgh, 1824 ; Cooke's Exhibitions, i822- 5 24 ; Northern 
Academy of Arts, Newcastle, 1828 ; R. Birmingham S. of Artists, 1829, '30, '34, '35, 
'47; Liverpool Academy, 1831, '45; R. Manchester Institution, 1834, '355 Leeds 
Exhibition, 1839. 
WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery ; V. and A. Museum ; British Museum ; 

"5 



I 

National Galleries of Ireland and Scotland ; Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam Museums ; 
Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Bury Art Gallery, etc. etc. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : Peter Cunningham's Memoir, in John Burnet's 
" Turner and his Works," 1852 ; Alaric Watts's Memoir, in " Liber Fluviorum," 1853 ; 
Ruskin's " Modern Painters " and " Preterita " ; Thornbury's " Life, etc.," 2 vols., 
1862 ; Hamerton's " Life," 1879 '> Monkhouse's " Turner " (in " Great Artists Series "), 
1882 ; C. F. Bell's " Exhibited Works of Turner," 1901 ; Sir Walter Armstrong's 
" Turner," 1902 ; Finberg's " Turner's Sketches and Drawings," 1910 ; etc. etc. 
REPRODUCTIONS : Armstrong's " Turner " ; Wedmore's " Turner and Ruskin " ; 
" The Genius of Turner " (THE STUDIO Special Number, 1903) ; " Hidden Treasures at 
the National Gallery," 1905 ; " The Water-Colours of J. M. W. Turner " (THE STUDIO 
Spring Number, 1909) ; " Turner's Water-Colours at Farnley Hall " (THE STUDIO Special 
Number, 1912); Walpole Society's Vols. I., III., and VI.] 

Turner's first exhibited water-colour, a View of the Archbishop's Palace, 
Lambeth (1790), is a poor imitation of Malton's least inspired topogra- 
phical drawings. But he learned quickly. His Inside of Tintern Abbey, 
( 1 794) shows that before he was twenty he could draw and paint Gothic 
architecture better than any of the older topographical artists. His pre- 
eminence as a topographical draughtsman was firmly established by 
1 797, when he had painted such works as the Linco/n Cathedral ( 1 795), 
Llandaff Cathedral (1796), Westminster Abbey: St. Erasmus and Bishop 
Islip's Chapel (1796), and Wolverhampton (1796). 
From 1796 to 1 804 Turner's style changed, chiefly under the influence 
of Richard Wilson's works, which he studied and copied diligently. 
These years saw the production of Norham Castle (1798), Warkworth 
Castle (1799), Edinburgh, from Calton Hill (1804), The Great Fall of the 
Reichenbach (done in 1804, but not exhibited till 1815), and the won- 
derful sketches in the Alps, Blair s Hut, St. Gothard, etc. (1802). In 
these energetic and powerful drawings he aims at getting depth and 
richness of tone and colour. 

From 1804 to 1815 his energies were mainly directed to the produc- 
tion of his great sea-paintings, The Shipwreck, Spithead, etc., his lovely 
English landscapes like Abingdon, Windsor, The Frosty Morning, and 
Crossing the Brook, and to making the designs in sepia for his " Liber 
Studiorum " and helping to engrave the plates. His water-colours dur- 
ing these years were not numerous, but they include Scarborough Town 
and Castle (181 1), The Strid (about 181 1), Bo I ton Abbey from the South 
(about 1812), all three at Farnley Hall, Mr. Morland Agnew's Scar- 
borough (i 8 10), Scene on the River Tavey (i 8 1 3) called by Mr. Ruskin 
Pigs in Sunshine, now in the Ruskin School at Oxford, and the Malham 
Cove (about 1815), now in the British Museum (Salting Bequest). In 
these drawings the capacities of water-colour are not forced so much 
into rivalry with the depth-and power of oil painting as in those of the 
1 797-1 804 period. 

About 1812 or 1813 Turner began making the drawings which were 
engraved and published in Cooke's "Picturesque Views of the Southern 
Coast of England." Between 1815 and 1840 nearly all his work in 
16 



water-colour was done to be engraved and published in similar under- 
takings. Turner's fame as a water-colour painter rested during his life- 
time chiefly on these drawings. Among them are many of the most 
beautiful works which have ever been produced in this medium. It is 
a pity, therefore, that they are not more adequately represented in our 
public galleries. This remark applies particularly to the drawings in 
transparent colour (like the Launceston, for instance, which is here re- 
produced, Plate IV), for those in body-colour the "Rivers of France" 
are nearly all either in the National Gallery, AshmoleanorFitzwilliam 
Museums. But with the exception of Hornby Castle (V. & A. Museum) 
and most of the originals of the "Rivers" and "Ports of England" series 
(in the National Gallery), nearly all Turner's drawings made for the en- 
gravers are in private collections. We may perhaps allow ourselves to 
hope that some time in the future a separate gallery may be founded to 
do justice to British water-colours, in which such drawings would have 
to be properly represented. 

After about 1 840 Turner only worked in water-colours for his own 
pleasure and for that of a small circle of friends and admirers. T ne 
drawings made for his own pleasure are now nearly all in the National 
Gallery, where they have never been properly exhibited and where 
most of them cannot be seen by the public. These formed part of the 
Turners which the Trustees wanted to sell about a year ago. The draw- 
ings made for his friends and admirers include the Constance, Lucerne, 
and others of what have been called " The Epilogue " drawings. The 
public is able to catch glimpses of these occasionally at loan exhibitions 
and in auction rooms. 

JOHN SELL COTMAN ' 

[Born at Norwich, May 16, 1782 ; went to London, 1798 ; gained 
prize for a drawing^from the Society of Arts, 1 800 ; returned to Nor- 
wich, 1806, and opened a school for drawing and design ; married, 
1 809 ; published a series of etchings, 1 8 1 1 , and became president of the 
Norwich Society of Artists ; published " Norman and Gothic Archi- 
tecture," 1817, and " Architectural Antiquities of Normandy," 1 822 ; 
Associate, Society of Painters in Water-Colours, 1825; appointed Pro- 
fessor of Drawing at King's College, London, 1834, mainly through 
Turner's influence; published his "Liber Studiorum," 1838 ; died 
July 24, 1842. 

EXHIBITED: Royal Academy, i8oo-'o6; Associated Artists, 1810, 'n ; Society of 
Painters in Water-Colours, 1825, '26, '28-'39 > Society of British Artists, 1838 ; Norwich 
Society of Artists, i8o7-'i2, '15, '18, '20, '21, '23, '24 ; Norfolk and Suffolk Institution, 



WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery (an oil-painting) ; V. and A. Museum 
(Water-Colours) ; British Museum ; National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland ; 
Norwich Castle Museum ; Manchester Whitworth Institute, etc. 



BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : Memoir in catalogue of Norwich Art Circle's 
exhibition of Cotman's works, July 1888 ; Laurence Binyon's " Crome and Cotman " 
(Portfolio Monograph), 1897, and " Cotman " in " Masters of English Landscape 
Painting " (THE STUDIO Summer Number, 1903). 

REPRODUCTIONS : The three works cited above, and histories of British water-colour 
painting by Monkhouse, Finberg, etc., already cited.] 

Cotman is the greatest of all the English water-colour painters born after 
Turner. He is the only one of them whose works can be put beside Tur- 
ner's and judged on a footing of equality. When we compare Prout, 
Cox, De Wint, and even Bonington, with Turner we feel that they must 
be judged by some less exacting standard than that which we apply to 
Turner. This is not the case with Cotman. He had not the width and 
range, the abundance and all-conquering power of Turner, but within 
his own limits he is every whit as unapproachable. 
Cotman was a member of Girtin's sketching club, and it is evident that 
Girtin's influence counted for much in his early work. From Girtin he 
learned to rely first and foremost upon full-bodied washes of colour 
placed exactly where they were wanted and left to dry just as they had 
flowed from the brush. Cotman's quite early works can easily be mis- 
taken for poor drawings by Girtin or Francia. But in the drawings pro- 
duced between 1 803 and 1817, we find that he was not satisfied to paint, 
like the older men, in his studio upon an arbitrarily chosen formula of 
colouring. In a letter written to Dawson Turner on Nov. 30, 1 805, he 
speaks of his summer sketching tour to York and Durham, and adds, 
" My chief study has been colouring from Nature, many of which are 
close copies of that full Dame." We see one of theVesults of these 
studies in what is perhaps his earliest masterpiece, the Greta Bridge, 
Yorkshire ( i 806), now in the British Museurr . Its colour-scheme is as 
original as it is beautiful. The colouring is " natural," but it is Nature 
simplified to a system of harmoniously coloured spaces, in which light 
v iid shade and modelling are suggested rather than rendered. 
The distinctive peculiarity of the workmanship of this, as indeed of all 
Cotman's drawings, is his reliance on the clear stain or rich blotting of 
the colour on paper preserved in all its freshness. The aims of represen- 
tation are forced so much into the background that the artist seems to 
be mainly intent on the discovery and display of " the beauty native 
and congenial' to his n atertals. Mr. Binyon has drawn attention to 
the unconscious similarity of Cotman's methods and aims to those of the 
great schools of China and Japan of more than a thousand years ago. 
Among the better-known of Cotman's drawings of this period we may 
mention the Twickenham (1807) ,Trentham Church (about 1809) , Drain- 
ing Milt ', Lincolnshire (1810), and Household Heath (1810) ; these are all 
reproduced in "Masters of English Landscape Painting " (THE STUDIO 
Summer Number, 1903), in which Mr. Binyon's illuminating essay was 
published. The beautiful drawing of Kirkham Abbey, Yorkshire, here 
reproduced (Plate III) by the courtesy of Messrs. J. Falser & Sons, is 
18 



an admirable example of Cotman's wonderful mastery in the use of de- 
cided washes of pure colour. 

In 1817 Cotman made his first visit to Normandy, and after this date his 
colour becomes warmer,brighter,and more arbitrarv. After about 1825 
he indulges himself freely in the use of the strong primary colours, in- 
fluenced probably by Turner's daring chromatic experiments. 

DAVID COX 

[Born at Deritend, Birmingham, April 29, 1783 ; scene-painter in Lon- 
don, 1804; President of the "Associated Artists," 1810; member of 
the Society of Painters in Water-Colours, 1813; drawing-master at 
Hereford, 1814-1826 ; published "Treatise on Landscape Painting," 
1814, "Lessons in Landscape," 1816, "Young Artists' Companion," 
1825, etc. ; took lessons in oil painting from W. J. Miiller, 1839 > re ~ 
moved to neighbourhood of Birmingham, 1841, visiting Bettws-y- 
Coed yearly, 1 844-1 856 ; died June 7, 1 859. 

EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, i8o5~'o8 ; '27-29, '43, '44 ; Associated Artists, 1809- 

'12 ; Society of Painters in WateivColours, i8i3~'i6, 'i8-'59 > British Institution, 1814, 

'28, '43 ; Society of British Artists, 1841, '42. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery ; V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; 

British Museum ; National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland ; Birmingham Art Gallery ; 

Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Glasgow, Manchester, Bury, Nottingham Art 

Galleries, etc. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : " Memoir of the Life of David Cox," by N. 

Neal Solly, 1875 5 Wedmore's " Studies in English Art," 2nd series. 

REPRODUCTIONS: Solly's "Memoir"; Masters of English Landscape Painting (THE 

STUDIO Summer Number, 1903) ; " Drawings of David Cox " (Newnes's " Modern 

Master Draughtsmen " Series).] 

It was not till about 1840, when he was fifty-seven years of age, that 
Cox managed to break free from the drudgery of teaching. This 
drudgery during the greater part of his life undoubtedly exercised a 
mischievous effect upon his art. Besides wasting so much of his time, 
and thus preventing him from attempting works which required sus- 
tained efforts, it forced him to develop a mechanical and facile dexterity 
of style. He got into the habit of " slithering " over the individual forms 
of objects, making his rocks and trees as rounded and shapeless as his 
clouds, in a way that irritates any one who has learned to use his eyes. 
There is some truth in John Brett's remark that " the daubs and blots of 
that famous sketcher (David Cox) were just definite enough to suggest 
. . . the most superficial aspects of things," though it may have been 
prompted by envy and exasperation. 

Cox's reputation nowadays rests to a large extent on the drawings he 
made after 1 840. Hay fie Id with Figures ', The Young Anglers (i 847), the 
Welsh Funeral (1850), The Challenge (1853), and Snowden from Cape I 
Curig (1858) were among the fine things produced by the grand old 
artist during the last years of his life. Such moving and powerful works 

'9 



are stamped with the sincerity, simplicity, and rugged dignity of David 
Cox's own character. 

SAMUEL PROUT 

[Born at Plymouth, Sep. 17,1783; settled in London, 181 1 ; member of 
the Society of Painters in Water-Colours, 1819; published " Rudiments 
of Landscape," etc., 1 8 1 3, "A New Drawing Book for the Use of Begin- 
ners," 1 82 1, and other drawing books; published lithographs of his Con- 
tinental drawings,TheRhine, 1 824,Flanders and Germany, 1 8 3 3 , France, 
Switzerland, and Italy, about 1839; died at Denmark Hill, Feb. 1 852. 
EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, i8o3~'o5, 'o8-'io, 'i2-'i4, '17, '26, '27 ; British Institution, 
1809-'!!, 'i6-'i8 ; Associated Artists, 1811, '12 ; Society of Painters in Water-Colours, 



WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery ; V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; 

British Museum ; National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland ; Fitzwilliam and Ashmo- 

lean Museums ; Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Birmingham, Manchester, Bury 

Art Galleries, etc. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES: Ruskin, in "Art Journal," 1849, "Modern 

Painters," and " Notes on S. Prout and W. Hunt " ; Roget's " History of the Old 

Water-Colour Society," 1891 ; " D. N. B.," " Sketches by Samuel Prout " (THE STUDIO 

Winter Number, 19 14-' 15), with text by E. G. Halton. 

REPRODUCTIONS : Ruskin's " Notes," etc., i879~'8o ; " Sketches by Samuel Prout " 

(THE STUDIO Winter Number, 1914-'! 5).] 

Up to 1819 Prout's work was confined to the making of English topo- 
graphical drawings and marine subjects. They show Girtin's influence 
mainly, and they are stolid, heavy-handed, and rather dull. 
In 1819 Prout went to France, and in 1821 to Belgium and the Rhine 
provinces. The drawings made from his sketches appeared in the exhi- 
bitions of the Society of Painters in Water-Colours and attracted a great 
deal of interest and admiration, partly on account of their novel subject- 
matter for the public was beginning to weary of the numberless views 
of Tintern Abbey, Harlech, Conway and Carnarvon Castles, and other 
English subjects, with which it had been surfeited during the pre- 
ceding twenty years and partly on account of Prout's boldness of 
manner and marked feeling for the picturesque. Having struck this 
successful vein of subject-matter Prout continued to work it till the end 
of his life, producing a great quantity of water-colours of Continental 
buildings, all executed on the same general principles, and several series 
of admirable lithographs from his sketches and drawings. 
Ruskin liked Prout and admired his work inordinately. In " Modern 
Painters " he calls him " a very great man " which is absurd and 
says that his rendering of the character of old buildings is " as perfect 
and as heartfelt as I can conceive possible." Some people may prefer 
the buildings in Turner's early drawings, in Cotman's, Girtin's, and 
Bonington's works. But Prout's work is uniformly successful within 
its own limitations ; it is bold, workmanlike, and picturesque, and its 
subject-matter is full of inexhaustible interest and delight. 
20 



PETER DE WINT 

[Born at Sfme, Staffordshire, Jan. 21, 1784; apprenticed to John 
Raphael Smith, 1802 ; student R.A. Schools, 1809 ; Associate, Society 
of Punters in Abater-Colours, 1 8 10, member, 1 8 1 1, and 1 825 ; died at 
40 Upper Gower Street, June 30, 1849. 

EXHIBITED: Royal Academy, 1807, 'u, 'i3-'i5, '19, '20, '28; British Institution, 
1808, '13-17, '21, '24; Associated Artists, 1808, '09; Society of Painters in Water- 
Colours, 1 8 io-' 1 5, *25-'49. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : V. and A. Museum (Oil and Water-Colours) ; British 
Museum ; National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland ; Manchester Whitworth Institute ; 
Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Bury, Norwich, Nottingham Art Galleries, etc. 
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : Sir Walter Armstrong's " Peter De Wint," 
1888 ; Roget's " History," etc. ; " D. N. B." 

REPRODUCTIONS : Armstrong's " De Wint " ; " Masters of English Landscape Paint- 
ing " (THE STUDIO Special Summer Number, 1903).] 

De Wint's work may be described as a cross between that of Girtin and 
Cotman. Girtin was his first source of inspiration. From him he learned 
the value of breadth of effect and simplicity of design. From Cotman 
he learned to distil his colour harmonies fromNature. As a draughtsman 
he was less of a mannerist than Girtin, and he had not Cotman's mar- 
vellous feeling for the beauties of abstract design. 
De Wint had Dutch blood in his veins, and he had a good deal of the 
Dutchman's solidity of character and stolid realism. His drawings 
always look like bits of real life. They are nearer to the common ex- 
perience of Nature than either Turner's, Cozens', Girtin's, or Cotman's 
works. But his homely realism is always restrained by his respect for 
the medium he worked in and by his innate sense of style. 
His work is well represented in the Victoria and Albert Museum by 
drawings like Bray on the Thames, from the Towing Path, Hayfield, York- 
shire, and Westmoreland mils, bordering the Ken, all lent to that Museum 
from the National Gallery ; and of his famous works in private collec- 
tions we may mention Cookham-on-Thames, recently in the Beecham 
Collection, The Thames from Greenwich Hill, once in the collection of 
James Or rock, and Near LoWther Castle. 

For all his ''* objectivity," his steadiness of poise, his calm strength of 
character, De Wint's work is intensely personal and original. The num- 
ber of admirers of his manly and felicitous work has steadily increased 
since his death, and can only go on increasing as the public gets more 
opportunities of seeing his noble works with their superb mosaic of rich, 
deep, and harmonious colour. 

RICHARD PARKES BONINGTONT 

[Born at Arnold, near Nottingham, October 25, 1 802 ; received some 
instruction from Francia at Calais, 1817 ; studied at the Louvre and 
Institute, and under Baron Gros, at Paris ; first exhibited at the Salon, 

21 



1 822; made lithographs for Baron Taylor's "Voyages Pittoresques 
dans 1'ancienne France," "Vues Pittoresques de 1'Ecosse " (1826) and 
other works; visited England with Delacroix, 1825 ; died during a 
visit to England, 1828. 

EXHIBITED : Salon (Paris), 1822 (Water-Colours), '24 (Water-Colours), '27 (Oils and 
Water-Colours) ; Royal Academy, 1827, '28 ; British Institution, i826-'29. 
WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : Louvre ; National Gallery ; National Portrait Gallery 
(a small drawing of himself) ; V. and A. Museum (Oil and Water-Colours) ; British 
Museum ; Wallace Collection ; Manchester Whitworth Institute ; Nottingham, Bir- 
mingham, Manchester, and Glasgow Art Galleries ; National Gallery of Ireland. 
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : " Annual Register " and " Gentleman's Maga- 
zine," 1828 ; Cunningham's " Lives," etc. ; Redgrave's " Dictionary " ; THE STUDIO, 
Nov. 1904; Catalogue of Bonington's Lithographs, by Aglaiis Bonvenne (Paris), 1873 ; 
" Influence de Bonington et de 1'Ecole Anglaise sur laPeinture de Paysageen France," 
by A. Dubuisson (Walpole Society's Vol. II.). 

REPRODUCTIONS : " Series of Subjects from Bonington's Works," lithographed by 
J. D. Harding (twenty-one plates), 1828 ; Monkhouse's and Hughes's works cited above.] 

Bonington was the most brilliant of the later school of topographical 
artists those who used the full resources of water-colour for the pro- 
duction of pictorial effects. The drawings he produced during his short 
life for he died at twenty-six, may be divided into purely topographi- 
cal subjects, like the Street in Verona (V. and A. Museum) ; river and 
coast scenes, like the Rouen (Wallace Collection) ; and figure subjects, 
in which historical costume played the chief part, like the Meditation 
and several other drawings in the Wallace Collection. 
His drawings are amazingly dexterous, firm and large in handling, finely 
composed, and wonderfully rich in tone and colour. His influence on 
English artists was 'considerable, particularly on W. J. Mtiller, T. 
Shotter Boys, and William Callow. 

As he worked mostly in Paris his best paintings and drawings are gene- 
rally to be found in the French private collections. That is probably 
why he is better known and more warmly appreciated in France than 
in England. An authorative book on Bonington's life and work is much 
needed. Just before the war broke out it was rumoured that a work of 
this kind, the joint production of Monsieur A. Dubuisson and Mr. C. 
E. Hughes, was about to be published by Mr. John Lane. Such a work 
will be doubly welcome, for it will help us to realize the amazing quan- 
tity of work Bonington managed to produce in his short life, and its 
wonderful quality ; and it should benefit Bonington's reputation by 
drawing attention to the large number of drawings and paintings to 
which, in our public and private collections, his name is- wrongly and 
ignorantly given. 

MYLES BIRKET FOSTER 

[Born at North Shields, February 4, 1825, f an ^ Quaker Family ; 
educated at the Quaker Academy at Hitchin, Herts, where he had 
lessons from Charles Parry, the drawing master ; apprenticed to 
22 









Ebenezer Landells, the wood-engraver, 18411846 ; engaged chiefly 
on book-illustration till 1 858, after that time devoted mostly to paint- 
ing ; Associate "Old" Water-Colour Society, 1860, member, 1862 ; 
painted in oils 1869-1877, after which he abandoned it in favour of 
water-colours; died at Weybridge, March 27, 1899. 

EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, 1859, '^9~'7/5 '8 J J Society of Painters in Water-Colours, 
i86o-'99 ; Society of British Artists, 1876 ; Royal Scottish Academy, 1871, '75. 
WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery ; V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; 
Birmingham, Manchester, and Bury Art Galleries. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : "Art Annual," 1890 ; "Athenaeum," April i, 
1899 ; " D. N. B." (Supplement) ; " Birket Foster," by H. M. Cundall, 1906. 
REPRODUCTIONS: "Art Annual," 1890 ; CundalTs " Birket Foster."] 

In his choice of subjects Birket Foster confined himself generally to road- 
side and woodland scenes, and in these he sought prettiness rather than 
the deeper and more profoundly poetical emotions. His work is neat and 
extraordinarily accomplished, but his style being always the same made 
its many merits seem mechanical and unfeeling. Unlike the older men 
he avoided the use of broad washes of transparent colour, used body- 
colour freely, and finished his work with elaborate stipplings. 
His standard of excessive finish, his general methods of work and choice 
of subject-matter, were violently opposed to those of the younger men 
who came after him. For this reason, and also because of the great 
popularity he enjoyed, Birket Foster's work has excited the animosity 
of " superior persons " and aesthetes. But their cheap and easy sneers 
merely mark the inevitable reaction which follows a period of indis- 
criminating praise. Doubtless Birket Foster was not the great artist his 
contemporaries thought him to be. But his work must figure in any 
well-balanced history of British landscape painting, if only because it 
expresses so fully and abundantly, and with so much technical success, 
the artistic ideals of a large part of the nineteenth century. But it also 
deserves consideration for other reasons. Birket Foster's grace and pret- 
tiness were the results of his sincere and unaffected love of the orderli- 
ness and real beauty of the life of the English countryside. He had a 
genuine affection for the themes he painted, and he painted them in the 
way he thought best. Fashions in technical matters change, slowly 
perhaps but inevitably, and I shall be very much surprised if the future 
will not be readier than we are to-day to give Birket Foster's work its 
due meed of affectionate admiration. 




ALFRED WILLIAM HUNT 

[Born in Bold Street, Liverpool, Nov. 15, 1830; educated at Liverpool 
Collegiate School and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, which he 
entered with a scholarship, 184853 fellow of Corpus, 1853-1861; Asso- 
ciate of Liverpool Academy, 1854, member, 1856; Associate Society 
of Painters in Water-Colours, 1 862, member, 1 864 ; died May 3, 1 896. 

23 



' 

EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, 1854, '56, '57, '59~'62, '7o-'75, '77, '79~'83, '85~'88 ; 
Society of Painters in Water-Colours, i86o-'93 ; Society of British Artists, 1846, '59, 
'60, '70, '73, '74; Grosvenor Gallery, 1882, '87; New Gallery, 1888, '90; Portland 
Gallery, i854-'s6, '60 ; Dudley Gallery (Oil), 1872. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery ; V. and A. Museum (Water-Colours) ; 
Liverpool, Glasgow, and Birmingham Art Galleries. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES: "Athenaeum," May 9, 1896; Catalogue B.F.A. 
Club's Exhibition, 1897; " D. N. B." (Supplement); "One Way of Art," by Violet 
Hunt, "St. George's Review," June 1908. 
REPRODUCTIONS : One in " The Old Water-Colour Society " (THE STUDIO Spring Number, 



Of all the artists influenced by Ruskin's propaganda in favour of 
Naturalism Alfred William Hunt was probably the most sensitive and 
the most poetical. He was as ardent a student of " natural facts " as 
John Brett, Holman Hunt, or any other of Ruskin's proteges, but his 
work was never, like so much of theirs, merely literal and tedious. His 
works prove to demonstration how little artistic theories count in deter- 
mining the value of a work of art. We know Ruskin's theories of real- 
ism were all wrong, but the sensitiveness of Alfred Hunt's nerves, the 
intensity and Tightness of his emotions, redeemed his work and gave it 
an inevitable stamp of greatness. 

In the absorbingly interesting account of her father's methods of work 
contributed by Miss Violet Hunt to "St. George's Review" (1908) the 
demands made by his art on the nerves and character of the artist are 
vividly described. His daughter tells us that she has seen " delicately 
stained pieces of Whatman's Imperial subjected to the most murderous 

* processes,' and yet come out alive in the end." Hunt " scrupled not to 

* work on the feelings of the paper,' as his friend George Boughton used 
to tell him, He severely sponged it into submission ; he savagely scraped 
it into rawness and a fresh state of smarting receptivity. Yet some of 
the drawings that have suffered peine forte et dure are among the most 
cherished assets of certain private collectors, such as Mr. Newall and 
the late Mr. Humphrey Roberts." 

The " subtle finish and watchfulness of nature " which Ruskin praised 
in Hunt's work was only the raw material of his art. It was the fervour 
and energy with which he subdued his facts to a genuinely poetic unity 
of feeling and expression that make Hunt's drawings so significant and 
beautiful. To-day Hunt seems to be forgotten by all but a small number 
of admirers, but works like his Durham Misty with Colliery Smoke, Barn- 
borough from the Sana's, Cloud March at Twilight^ and many others as 
poignant and as beautiful, are sufficient guarantees that he will not al- 
ways be neglected. 

JAMES ABBOTT McNEILL WHISTLER 

[Born at Lowell, Massachusetts, July 10, 1834 ; lived in Russia, 1843- 
'49; studied at the Military Academy, West Point, 1851-1854; engaged 

24 



on United States coast and geodetic survey tor about a year; went to 
Paris, 1855, and studied in Gleyre's studio ; published set of thirteen 
etchings^ " The French Set " 1858 ; settled in London, 1 860 ; pub- 
lished " The Thames " set of etchings, 1871 ; libel action against Rus- 
kin, 1878; bankrupt, 1879; "Ten-o'clock" lecture, 1884; portrait 
of Carlyle bought for Glasgow, 1891 ; " Grand Prix " for painting, and 
another for engraving, at Paris exhibition, 1900 ; died at 74 Cheyne 
Walk, July 17, 1903. 

EXHIBITED : Royal Academy, 1 8 59^65, '67, '70$ '72, '79 ; Society of British Artists, 
i884-'87; Grosvenor Gallery, 1877-^79, '8i-'84; Dudley Gallery (Oil), i87i-'73, '75; 
Dudley Gallery (Black and White), 1872, '79, '80 ; Society of Portrait Painters, 1891- 
'93 ; Royal Scottish Academy, 1899, 1901 -'04. 

WORKS IN PUBLIC GALLERIES : National Gallery; Glasgow Art Gallery. 
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES : " The Art of Whistler," by T. R. Way and 
G. R. Dennis, 1903 ; " Life of Whistler," by E. R. and J. Pennell, 2 vols., 1908 ; 
"Memoirs of Whistler," by T. R. Way, 1912; Wedmore's "Whistler's Etchings"; 
D. N. B." (Supplement). 

REPRODUCTIONS : The " Whistler Portfolio " (THE STUDIO Special Publication, 1904) ; 
the monthly issues of THE STUDIO ; in Way's and Pennells' works cited above, etc.] 

In Turner's and Alfred Hunt's works the multitudinous objects of 
Nature are subdued to poetical and decorative purposes chiefly by the 
influence of the atmosphere. But though subdued in the final result 
the facts were always vividly present to the minds of these artists. With 
Whistler and all those who like him were influenced by the theories of 
Impressionism, such facts were less considered. They began with the 
study of values and tones, and relied almost entirely on the justness with 
which these were rendered, being content with a merely slight and 
grudging suggestion of the objects which were veiled in their envelop- 
ment of atmosphere. The difference, I admit, is only one of degree. 
But it accounts, I think, for the difference between a drawing like 
Whistler's water-colour of London Bridge (reproduced in Mr. Way's 
" The Art of James McNeill Whistler," p. 96) and, say, Alfred Hunt's 
Coast Scene near Whitby (i 878). 

The advantage of Whistler's method of approach is that it throws 
greater emphasis on the decorative quality of the picture, the tones 
being capable of treatment as a unity of colour harmonies an advan- 
tage which Whistler clearly realized and diligently exploited. 
It was not till about 1 880 that Whistler took up water-colour painting. 
The London Bridge referred to above was done soon after his return from 
Venice. He then used this medium for some fine drawings made in the 
Channel Islands, and from time to time in various places in England 
and abroad, chiefly at St. Ives and Southend. It is almost unnecessary 
to say that he used water-colour with the same unerring mastery he 
displayed in his etchings and pastels. But the curious will notice 
the use he made in nearly all his water-colours of the grey underpaint- 
ing which played such an important part in the drawings of the early 
topographers. He did not, however, use this grey underpainting, as they 

25 



did, merely to establishthe broad division of light and shade. In his bold 
and skilful hands it did more than this; it formed the unifying element 
the ground tone or harmony which knit together the lovely tones and 
colours which made his works so charming and delightful to the eye. 
The influence of Whistler's methods and ideals is clearly marked in the 
works of men like J. Buxton Knight and C. E. Holloway, two artists 
who produced a greater volume of fine work in water-colour than 
Whistler. We might have chosen them on this account to take his 
place in our small gallery of representative water-colour painters, but 
the quality of Whistler's work seemed to us of more consequence than 
their quantity. And though both these men especially Buxton Knight 
urgently demand fuller recognition than they have yet received, we 
are bound to admit that Whistler was a greater genius than either ; and 
that seems to settle the matter. 

(5) THE WORK OF TO-DAY 

WE have now traced the development in the past of subject-matter and 
technique in British landscape painting in water-colour, and we have 
surveyed as well as our poor memories would enable, us to do so- for 
the Museums have long been closed and most private collections are in- 
accessible, and it is therefore impossible either to verify or renew our 
earlier impressions the differing aims and diverse achievements of a 
few of those who have made our national art so glorious and so memor- 
able. We have done this because the careful and attentive study of the 
history of an art provides the best, and, indeed, the only, means by 
which we can educate ourselves to value and appreciate it. Historical 
studies enable us to enlarge our sympathies and discipline our tastes, so 
that the man who knows best what has been done in the past will be the 
first to appreciate the good work which is being done by living artists. 
He will also be the most indulgent critic of a young artist's shortcom- 
ings, and the readiest to help and encourage him in his difficult struggle 
toward self-expression and mastery over his intractable material. 
It is not, however, our business on the present occasion to praise the 
works with which this volume is enriched. In the first place, to do so 
is quite unnecessary, because the works are here to speak for themselves, 
or rather such excellent colour-reproductions of them that almost all 
their charm and beauty have been preserved; and, in the second place, to 
do so would be impertinent, because the fact that these drawings have 
been selected by the Editor of THE STUDIO for publication in this 
way is a sufficient guarantee of their merit and importance. I shall, 
therefore, confine my remarks rather to the general character of their 
subject-matter and treatment than to their individual excellences. In 
this way the following observations may be taken as an attempt to con- 
tinue to the present day the survey of the past which occupied us in a 
previous chapter. 
26 



In tracing the development of subject-matter in the works of the artists 
of the nineteenth century we have seen that they generally gave promin- 
ence to the place represented, with all its historical and literary associa- 
tions. Whistler was the chief exception to this tendency, as in his work 
the decorative and emotional elements of the picture itself were most 
prominent. Whistler's example has been followed by many of the living 
artists. Men like Clausen and Mark Fisher are shy of any suggestion of 
what has been called "literary subject " or " guide-book " interest. But 
though the works of such artists, from their absence of topographical 
interest, seem to claim classification as poetical landscapes, yet, if we 
compare them with the earlier poetical landscapes of men like Lambert, 
Zuccarelli, George Smith of Chichester, and the elder Barret, we find 
they have undergone a very thorough change of character. The older 
work owed more to the study and imitation of the Old Masters than to 
the study and representation of Nature. In the place of formulas and 
motives borrowed from Claude and Poussin the modern men give us 
their own interpretations of what they have seen and felt in the presence 
of Nature. So that if we take a drawing like Mark Fisher's Landscape^ 
reproduced in the present volume (Plate VI), we find that it is, or at 
any rate that it looks as though it is, the representation of an actual 
place, though the place is unnamed and therefore devoid of any his- 
torical or literary interest to the spectator. Such a drawing may therefore 
very well be classed as topographical, though the topographical matter 
is used in the service of other than strictly topographical purposes. 
However, in the works of other distinguished living artists, like Mat- 
thew Hale, Albert Goodwin whose Lincoln is here reproduced (Plate 
VIII),Hughes-Stanton, Lamorna Birch, Wilson Steer, Rich, Gere, etc., 
we often find a similar use of topographical matter for the purposes of , 
poetical expression, but at the same time they show a marked prefer- 
ence for the choice of subject-matter enriched by historical and literary 
associations. 

The majority of drawings here reproduced are the outcome of their 
painters' loving and tireless effort to render the appearances of Nature in 
their exact tones and colours. There is little of conscious artifice or pre- 
occupation with abstract design of form or colour in drawings like C. 
M. Gere's vivid presentment of light The Round House (Plate VII), 
Eyre Walker's Pool in the Woods (Plate XIII), R. W. Allan's Maple in 
Autumn (Plate XV), George Houston's lona (Plate XX), or in Mark 
Fisher's Landscape. But though their aims, broadly speaking, are the 
same, viz. the truthful rendering of particular effects of light and par- 
ticular scenes, yet each work is different from each, and each is personal 
and individual, because the artist has painted only what he liked and 
knew best. 

In other cases, generally in the choice of subject-matter, one is often re- 
minded of the works of the older men, only to realize as the result of 

27 



he comparisons thus provoked the important differences which dis- 
tinguish the new treatment and justify the repetition of the same 
motives. Sir Ernest Waterlow's In Crowhurst Park (Plate XIV), for 
instance, calls up memories of David Cox, of E. M. Wimperis, Tom 
Collier and many others who have delighted in such wide surveys of 
rolling down and moving cloud. But Sir Ernest's work holds its own 
against all our historical reminiscences ; it is so vivid, so evidently the 
outcome of the artist's experiences, so freely and confidently set up. 
Robert Little's Tidal Basin, Montrose (Plate X), Lamorna Birch's En- 
virons of Camborne (Plate V), and Murray Smith's On the Way to the 
South Downs (Plate XXII), justify themselves in the same way. How 
easily, too, can we imagine Girtin or Cozens painting the scene which 
Russell Flint has portrayed so vividly in his April Evening, Rydal Water 
(Plate XIX). Yet how differently they would have painted it ! 
In all this one sees the Naturalistic movement begun in the nineteenth 
century still at work, with its inevitable tendency towards Pantheism 
its exaltation of Nature at the expense of man and the individual. 
Moralists have dwelt upon its dangers in the deadening effect it is sup- 
posed to produce upon the sense of individual responsibility and freedom 
of will. But with results like these before our eyes we are more inclined 
to dwell upon its advantages, its enlargement of our sympathies and 
knowledge. 

But the tendency is not altogether in the direction of Pantheism. There 
is a groijp of artists, among whom I will only mention D. Y. Cameron, 
A. W. Rich, Albert Goodwin, and C. J. Holmes, which manfully up- 
holds the supremacy of the artist over Nature. The influence of the art 
of the past has counted for more in works like Cameron's Autumn in 
Strath 7ty(Plate XVIII), Rich's Swalectale (Plate XI), Good win's Lincoln, 
and Holmes's Near Aisgill (Plate IX), than Nature herself. In these 
drawings the free-will of the individual triumphantly asserts itself. 
They are what they are because their makers loved art and particular 
forms of art first of all, and wanted to imitate them. Their inspiration 
came from within (from human nature) and not from without (from 
- physical nature). But this is not to say that they are mere copies of other 
men's works, for obviously they are nothing of the kind. They are at 
least as original and individual as any of the other drawings of which 
we have spoken. And these artists, too, study Nature just as keenly and 
as indefatigably as the realists, only their methods of study are different. 
With works like those illustrated in this volume so different in aim 
and method, yet each so virile, sincere and personal it is evident that 
water-colour painting is still a distinctly living art in this country. The 
British water-colour painters of to-day are " keeping their end up " as 
well as our soldiers, sailors and workers in other spheres, and, like them, 
they have earned the right to face the future with hearts full of confi- 
dence and hope. 
28 



CO 




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PLATE VII. 




"THE ROUND HOUSE." BY CHARLES M. GERE. 




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PLATE XII. 




(In th~ 



CAUGHT IN THE FROZEN PALMS OF SPRING 
BY LIONEL SMYTHE, R.A.. R.W.S. 






1 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRITISH 
LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN WATER- 
COLOURS: SCOTTISH PAINTERS. BY 
E. A. TAYLOR 

TO lift the veil enshrouding the past and, though but dimly, re- 
call its artists' lives and works may appeal to a few only. The 
secrets of the great are already known ; their deeds, as modern 
times desire, will be more rapidly found tabulated in any bio- 
graphical dictionary; those whom chance and fate have less favoured 
will serve no other purpose than that of a poor remembrance. Never- 
theless to separate those who followed the ways of art in other than 
water-colour landscape painting, I must recall some at least whose in- 
fluence of mind and work aided to attain in Scotland the important 
position it commands to-day. Amongst the first connected with land- 
scape painting the names of John and Robert Norie cannot fairly be 
omitted. Carrying on a business in Edinburgh at the beginning of the 
eighteenth century as house painters and decorators, it was in their de- 
corative schemes that landscape played the most significant part, a form 
of decoration of considerable fashion in the Scottish capital at that time, 
and applied in various ways to doors, panels, mantelpieces, etc., of private 
houses ; and apart from their business, both father and sons painted 
some landscapes of no mean order. It was in their workshops, too, that 
some afterwards notable artists, in their early life, served as apprentices, 
famous amongst them being Alexander Runciman (1736-1785), John 
Wilson (1774-1855), and James Howe (1780-1836). 
Landscape painting, however, apart from such as was utilized in de- 
corative schemes, had little or no public appreciators. Portraits and 
deeds of tragedy and valour seemed to occupy the artists' minds ; yet, 
like the curlew's haunting note on loch and mountain side, there was 
an influence astir towards more peaceful scenes, a call that knew no 
limited geography, no definite law. In Ayrshire, Robert Burns (1759- 
1796) was weaving his nature songs; while Alexander Nasmyth 
(1758-1840), in Midlothian, was preparing his palette to capture 
similar themes in paint. But perhaps the greatest impetus given, to a 
wider public appreciation of the scenery of his own country was the 
publication in 1 8 1 o of Sir Walter Scott's " Lady of the Lake," followed 
in 1 8 14 by his more distinguished " Waverley Novels." Yet previous 
to that universal awakening, in 1793 Alexander Nasmyth resigned 
his portrait and figure work for that of landscape, and it is from that 
period that this branch of painting in oils most vigorously commenced; 
while apart from the use of water-colour by topographical artists, per- 
haps the first few landscapes of importance were of a slightly earlier 
date, by the renowned architect Robert Adam (1728-1792). Not, 

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however, until the time of Hugh William Williams (1773-1829) did 
the art become more pictorially practised. As Nasmyth has been 
credited with being the father of Scottish landscape painting in oils, 
Hugh William Williams might be more universally noted as, if not the 
father, at least one of the principal pioneers of landscape painting in 
water-colours. Taking a short extract from a criticism of an exhibition 
of his work in that medium opened in Edinburgh in 1 822, the writer 
states : " There is room for more unqualified praise than in the works 
of any single artist in landscape painting to which this country has yet 
given birth." Williams, however, was of Welsh parentage and born on 
board his father's ship when at sea, his early upbringing being entrusted 
to an Italian grandfather in Edinburgh, where his name as an exhibitor 
and water-colour painter became prominent in 1810. His successes at 
thafrtime enabled him to undertake a long sojourn in Italy and Greece, 
of which he published an account in 1820 illustrated with engravings 
and some of his own drawings, following it up with his exhibition in 
1822 almost entirely composed of work done during his continental 
travels. Artistically his paintings are distinctly personal, and techni- 
cally they are treated with broad simple washes over delicately outlined 
compositions. < Another artist of the period remembered for his water- 
colour work was Andrew Wilson, born in Edinburgh (1780-1848), 
who, after a varied art life in Italy and England, occupied the post of 
master in the Trustees Academy of his native city in 1818. It was 
during this year that the remarkable David Roberts, who is said to have 
had a week's tuition under Wilson, started to exhibit his famed archi- 
tectural subjects ; while a few years later Andrew Donaldson, whose 
work in the style of Prout, and little known beyond Glasgow, contri- 
buted in no slight degree to the advancement of water-colour painting 
in that city. 

It was not, however, until 1832 that the water-colour landscapes of 
William Leighton Leitch began to make their public appearance, and 
biographical records place this artist and Williams as the two most 
prominent water-colour painters in Scotland in those days. From a 
Glasgow weaver to house-painter and scene-painter, ultimately instruct- 
ing the Queen and other members of the Royal Household, Leitch's 
life was certainly inspiring to young enthusiasts, and his work being of 
rather the "pretty" order was undoubtedly popular. But England 
claimed the later and more important days of his life. 
To revive more distinctly local Scottish memories one must turn to the 
name of Thomas Fairbairn (1821-1885). Originally a shop-lad with a 
firm of dyers in Glasgow, Fairbairn had no rose-paved road to travel to 
attain his desires, and it is by his sketches of old houses and localities 
around Glasgow that he at first became known, and latterly by his literal 
paintings of forest scenery. Attracted by the wealth of subject at 
Cadzow, in Hamilton, it was there that in 1852 he met Sam Bough, 

3 



who greatly influenced his further artistic outlook, as the English bor- 
derer did that of many other painters, and who twenty-three years later 
was lauded as being one of the most important figures in Scottish art. 
Another prominent artist at the time was J. Crawford Wintour (1825- 
1882) who, though chiefly concerned with oil painting, showed his rarest 
artistic achievements in water-colour landscapes. To him and Bough 
the credit is due for creating a greater interest in that medium and 
branch of art than it had hitherto enjoyed. Nevertheless the various 
exhibitions gave but scanty appreciation to the water-colour painters. 
In their organizers' minds the medium employed seemed to be rated 
higher than a work of art, despite water-colour being the one almost 
entirely employed by the supreme artists of China and Japan. Works 
in it were exhibitionally a little less than ignored, with the result that 
in Glasgow on December 21,1 877, ten enthusiasts held the first pre- 
liminary meeting of the now important Royal Scottish Society of 
Painters in Water-Colours. The only member of that faithful gather- 
ing now living is the Society's present Vice-President, A. K. 
Brown, R.S.A. It was not, however, until two months later that jhe 
Society was definitely formed, due to the proposition of Sir Francis 
Powell and seconded by William McTaggart, Powell being elected its 
first president and the virile Sam Bough vice-president on March 4, 
1 878. In November of the same year the new Society held its first ex- 
hibition in which 172 pictures were shown; and in February 1888, as 
the only representative art body of its kind in Scotland, it was em- 
powered to use the prefix "Royal." Its present membership numbers 
seventy-nine, of which eight are honorary, under the presidency of 
E. A. Walton, R.S.A. That the Society has been the means of pro- 
moting a wider public interest in water-colour painting in Scotland has 
been clearly evinced, and of recent years its exhibitions (now and again 
not entirely confined to the work of its members) have unquestionably 
stimulated a general interest in the art. ^et the day seems still far 
off when a more united appreciation will be based on a picture as a 
work of art, regardless of the value placed upon the medium in which 
it is produced. 

In comparison with the old water-colourists' slightly tinted drawings, p 

the chief elements most markedly notable in the modern development 
are the more extensively varied methods employed, aided considerably 
by the scientifically discovered greater range and assured permanency 
of pigments and materials. Technically, I think, the art of panting is 
closely allied to the art of acting ; the actor utilizes voice and make-up 
according to the emotions and character he wishes to express, in the 
same way that the painter's subject and thought to be fully indicated 
call for aprocessandtechnique affinitive with them. Within recent years 
it became the fash ion amongst water-colour artists to strain the medium 
beyond its limited powers, the result being heavily framed works com- 

3 1 



peting in a feeble way with oils, and subjects that would certainly have 
been better rendered artistically had this medium been employed. 
With the exception of the work of De Wint and Cox, the greatest in- 
fluence recognizable in the work of many of the Scottish water-colour- 
ists is of Dutch origin and easily traced to such masters as Anton 
Mauve, Josef Israels, Bosboom and the Maris brothers ; so much so in 
fact that with certain artists it has been difficult to discern the difference 
between many of their own paintings and those of the men by whom 
they were so obviously inspired. The method employed was as follows : 
after the drawing had been roughly suggested, the paper was submitted 
to a tubbing and scrubbing, so that the colour ate its way in until 
finally more direct and stronger touches were applied, desired lighter 
portions being wiped out while wet, or slicked up with a little body- 
colour. The method, though losing much that is inherently beautiful 
in water-colour, is nevertheless one which most aptly suggests certain 
phases of landscape dealing with poetic sentiment and mystery. 
The one perfect artist in Scotland who most originally adopted the pro- 
cess was Arthur Melville (i 855-1904). What good there was in it he 
certainly extracted ; Melville, too, seldom resorted to the aid of body- 
colour. I have known him, if unsatisfied with any portion of his paint- 
ing, to deliberately cut it out and dexterously insert a fresh piece ot 
paper, and much trouble and experience went to bring about the ap- 
parent ease with which his work appears to have been done. 
Another method extremely popular with some artists, though perhaps 
practised more on the Continent, was the almost entire use of body- 
colour on a tinted ground, a method which brings water-colour paint- 
ing into a closer relation to that of oils. In other than capable hands it 
has a tendency to lack freshness, giving an opaque and chalky quality 
to the work. But when used by a few artists in this country who have 
fully realized its possibilities and limitations, some excellent results have 
been achieved, pre-eminent amongst them being those by the New- 
castle artist, Joseph Crawhall, by whom his many Scottish associates 
were inspired to a remarkable degree. His paintings, principally of 
birds and animal life, in the various exhibitions were always outstand- 
ing, and to-day there is little if any work of this character being done* 
that can surpass it. 

Water-colour, however, used direct without the assistance of scrubbing, 
scraping and body-colour shows without question the medium at its 
best. As a process used in what is termed the purist's method, there 
certainly is no other that can compete with it for affinitive landscapes, 
and what has been done even experimentally in it, by other than water- 
colour artists, represents, perhaps, the finest examples of genuine 
art they have left us. With the exception of the short-lived George 
Manson (1850-1876), Tom Scott, R.S.A., R. B. Nisbet, R.S.A., and 
Ewen Geddes,R.S.W.,one might safely say that all the Scottish water- 
32 / 



colourists are equally conversant with oils, though in recent years Nis- 
bet has been devoting much of his time to the latter medium. 
Perhaps the first artist in Scotland to realize the brilliancy of Nature in 
water-colour was the late William McTaggart (1835-1910); his land- 
scapes are all veritably untricked effects of the land's and sea's sunlit and 
wind-swept moods in which his spontaneous and untrammelled method 
aided to a considerable extent his ability to maintain the high artistic 
quality of his pictures in oils. 

A less vivid outlook attracts the essentially water-colour artist, R. B. 
Nisbet, his landscapes being almost exclusively low-toned aspects of 
Nature, and technically similar to the works of the previously men- 
tioned Dutch masters. Universally his work has been vastly appreciated 
and probably he can claim more official honours than any other Scottish 
water-colour painter. Not a few of the younger men owe some of 
the rarer qualities in their work to his sympathetic influence. 
In companionship with Nisbet, Tom Scott is probably now, with the 
exception of Ewen Geddes, the only entirely water-colour painter in 
Scotland. His motifs, however, being chiefly inspired by the glamour 
surrounding the Borderland, are more of a figured historical nature, but 
not the least emotional pleasure is derived from their distinctive land- 
scape settings. 

Incidentally humble crofts and lowland scenery attract the artist in 
Ewen Geddes, and as a painter of snow landscapes, I doubt if there is 
another water-colourist who as sensitively portrays the spirit of the 
wintry day. But to pick and choose from amongst the many artists 
whose work entitles them to be more than briefly mentioned, regard- 
less of individual precedence, one may not omit W. Y. MacGregor, 
A.R.S.A., whose inspiring enthusiasm as father of the famed Glasgow 
School of Painters is historically honoured, and whose latter-day char- 
coal and water-colour landscapes are not the least distinctive expres- 
sions of genuine art; while amongst younger men, prominently known, 
are the distinguished exponent C. H. Mackie, R.S.A., R.S. W., whose 
work and ideas declared in various mediums are extremely invigorating, 
and J. Hamilton Mackenzie, R.S. W., A.R.E., who, as well as a painter 
in oils, pastellist and etcher, is an admirable water-colourist. To further 
enumerate one must include the names of such personal landscape 
artists as J. Whitelaw Hamilton, A.R.S.A., R.S.W., Archibald Kay, 
A.R.S.A., R.S.W.,T. M. Hay, R.S.W., Alexander MacBride, R.I., 
R.S.W., Stanley Cursiter, R.S.W., James Herald, and Stewart Orr. 
But to deal more minutely with the artists who are here represented, 
A. K. Brown (Plate XVI) must take precedence for his untiring 
services rendered to the promotion of the delightful art of water-colour 
painting in Scotland. Though born in Edinburgh in 1 849, it has been 
in Glasgow that the greater part of his life has been lived, and with the 
art affairs of that city he has been most directly connected. His early 

33 



years were spent there as a calico-print designer, the artistic relation- 
ship of which soon led him to the higher ideal of landscape painting, 
the hills and glens as seen from a moorland road or mountain burn 
being the themes that most intimately allured him ; yet not that aspect 
of the rugged inhumanity of the hills, but where man has trod, 
and where the shepherd's whistle may be familiarly heard. It is, too, 
that sensation of friendliness felt amongst the hills that pervades his 
works. Treated with a methodical tenderness, they never exhibition- 
ally assert themselves, but must be seen singly to convey their full 
attractiveness. 

In early association next to A. K. Brown would be R. W. Allan, born 
in Glasgow in 1852 (Plate XV). In his young days, inspired by his 
father who was a well-known lithographer in the city, he certainly had 
not the usual students' struggles to contend with, and was soon one of 
the few Scottish painters in water-colour who fully realized the beauty 
of the unsullied quality the medium possessed, by his broad decisive 
handling in comparison with the prevalent minute finish indulged in. 
It is now, however, about thirty-five years since he left his native city for 
London, where he has not only become a distinguished painter in oils, 
but also a prominent member of the " Old " Water-Colour Society. 
Two years later than R. W. Allan, James Paterson (Plate XXI) was 
born in Glasgow, and is noted there as one of the first artists ener- 
getically active, with W. Y. MacGregor, in forming a bolder style of 
painting than had been previously fashionable, and who, with the group- 
ing of a few other enthusiasts later, became known to the art world as 
the Glasgow School of Painters. Their revolutionary aims and ideals 
influenced to a remarkable extent artists and painting in general through- 
out Scotland. Though equally well known as a painter of the figure 
and occasional portraits, it is as a landscapist that Paterson's reputation 
has been most uniquely established, his present Dumfriesshire home 
providing him extensively with subjects in harmony with his earlier 
technically broad sympathies. 

Not so closely connected with the Glasgow School movement as James 
Paterson, James Cadenhead, born in Aberdeen in 1858 (Plate XVII), 
became somewhat imbued with its views. Like the majority of now 
celebrated water-colourists, oil painting claimed his first attention. Less 
realistic in outlook than his brother artists, his work assumed a more 
conceptionally decorative tendency and displayed a flat treatment, tech- 
nically similar to that which one associates with the landscape artists of 
Japan. It was by such individual features that attention was drawn to 
his work, and in 1 893 he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish 
Society of Painters in Water-Colours, and nine years later an associate 
of the Royal Scottish Academy, where, in both exhibitions, his work 
shares with that of other leading artists a distinctive admiration. 
Turning to the illustration Suffolk Pastures, by E. A. Walton * (Plate 

34 



XXIV), one finds the work of an artist whose ability as a painter is un- 
animously respected amongst his fellows. Born in Renfrewshire in 1860, 
he is also one who has been historically associated with the revolution- 
ary Glasgow School ; originally a landscape artist, he is nevertheless one 
of the leading Scottish portrait painters. But to confine my apprecia- 
tion to his landscape work, it is with a lingering doubt whether it be 
his examples in oils or water-colours which are the more enticing if a 
choice were demanded. It is probably to his work in the gentler medium 
I would assign the talent of the man and the artist as being most com- 
pletely revealed, especially favouring those drawings executed on a 
grey-brown millboard, or some other similarly tinted paper, with 
which his skilful use of body-colour mingles and expresses his pre- 
nurtured vision of design and colour harmonies for which he is so 
greatly esteemed. 

Five years later than E. A. Walton, D. Y. Cameron was born in Glas- 
gow (Plate XVIII). With the exception of Muirhead Bone, there is no 
other Scottish artist whose pre-eminence as an etcher is as universally 
admitted. Within recent years his reputation as a painter has been 
rapidly becoming as widely acknowledged. In his early etchings, oils, 
and water-colours, though previous masters' influences were easily de- 
tected, his gift of selection and fitness placed his results on a higher 
artistic plane than those by whom he had been evidently inspired, and 
to-day his work is always amongst the most dignified and refined in any 
exhibition. Technically he resorts to no fumbled trickery, nor does he 
strain any of the means he uses beyond their own inherent powers. 
Before his landscapes one feels the mood of time and place charmingly 
interpreted, such moods of Nature, when the trivialities of the day 
have passed, or only those remain which fittingly appeal, with their 
silent ponderings. 

In 1869, at Dairy, Ayrshire, George Houston was born (Plate XX), 
and it is as a painter of that part of Scotland that his name became most 
in evidence before the Scottish art world in 1904 by a large-scaled 
canvas, An Ayrshire Lands cape, shown at the exhibition of the Glasgow 
Fine Arts Institute. No little praise was bestowed upon it by artists and 
public alike, resulting in its beingpurchased for theCity'spermanent col- 
lection. But memories recall other earlier and smaller works creatively 
quite as important. To place Houston amongst the Scottish artists is 
to do so individually, as his work is extremely personal, both techni- 
cally and compositionally. Late winter and early spring landscapes 
attract him most, the time, too, when the earth is just dappled with 
snow, and the atmosphere and undergrowth alive in all th'eir gentle 
colour-harmony. A keen lover of Nature, little escapes his observation, 
and it is those qualities of his mind and outlook, so carefully expressed 
in his oil paintings, that arrest admiring attention in his water-colours 
of similar themes. 

35 



By age, W. Russell Flint and D. Murray Smith belong to the group of 
younger Scottish painters, and otherwise, similarly, both artists have 
been resident in England for a considerable time. It is only within 
recent years that their work has appeared, as it were, anew in the Scot- 
tish exhibitions. W. Russell Flint (Plate XIX) was born in Edinburgh 
in 1 880; originally studying in the art school there, he made his home 
in London in 1 900, where, after a short course at Heatherley 's Academy, 
his name and work came rapidly into prominence. In 1913 he was 
awarded the silver medal for his water-colours in the Salon des Artistes 
Fran9ais. The following year he was elected an associate of the Royal 
Society of Painters in Water-Colours, and a full member in 1 9 1 7. As 
an artist both figure and landscape equally reveal his versatile ability. 
As an illustrator, too, he can claim no less distinctive recognition by 
his charming imagery expressed in that phase of his talent in the pub- 
lications of the Riccardi Press. Thoroughly acquainted with the 
medium of water-colour, he applies it with no special mannerism other 
than the choice his vision dictates and the subjects of his mind most 
emotionally demand. 

Though less varied paths tempt the outlook of D. Murray Smith (Plate 
XXII), his spacious conceptions of landscapes are uncommonly inter- 
esting. The admirable characteristics of largeness and freedom, which 
earlier prophesied a coming artist in the Scottish capital where he was 
born, have altered little. As an etcher of illustrative landscapes in those 
days he gained no meagre reputation, which he has vastly enhanced in 
England, where he settled some twenty-four years ago. In all his works 
there pervades a strong affection for flat expanses of Nature, unham- 
pered in the composition by the human element, save for friendly way- 
side cottages or distant villages. It is, however, those examples where 
even such features are the least prominent, like his unpeopled roads, 
that have a most abiding charm, manifesting at times a vision and tech- 
nical qualities akin to the rare landscapes by the old Dutch and early 
English masters, and to the French in their Corotesque and lyrical love 
of trees. And it is, perhaps, to the lyrical aspects of Nature that water- 
colour is most closely allied, and in such of her voiceless poems most 
expressively lives the spirit of the medium. 




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PLATE XVI 




BEN MORE." BY A. K. BROWN, R.S.A., R.S.W- 




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PLATE XXIV 




"SUFFOLK PASTURES." BY E. A. WALTON, R.S.A., P R-S.W- 



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