Watercolours

A painting method that employs pigment suspended in a water-based solution, usually applied onto paper.

Though its earliest origins are thought to be prehistoric, its history is usually dated from the Renaissance, when it was used by artists such as Albrecht Durer.

While it may be used as for the creation of preparatory studies, it is also an art form in its own right, and is a technique used for botanical illustration, wildlife illustration and topographical painting as well as traditional genres, particularly landscape.


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West Dean buys new picture revealing its grand 19th century entrance hall

27 May 2020

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has bought a watercolour depicting the grand entrance hall of college's residence.

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‘The dust and mud of humanity’

26 May 2020

In 2017, this lost portrait miniature of a young Dickens emerged at an auction in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa where it sold together with some household goods for the equivalent of £27.

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Bidders back a local artist in Cumbria

18 May 2020

Seven lots by celebrated local artist Percy Kelly (1918-93) put in a decent performance at the most recent Antiques & Fine Art sale held by Cumbrian saleroom Mitchells (22% buyer’s premium).

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ATG letter: Please broaden my horizon

11 May 2020

MADAM – I wonder if the collective, wonderful wisdom of the ATG community might be able to shed any light on this watercolour below, or the artist whose name seems to be ‘Jacopo’ or some variant – the vowels are not entirely clear. I suspect it is not the 15th century one!

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Philip Mould sells “Pride and Prejudice” portrait miniature to Jane Austen’s House museum

15 April 2020

Dealer Philip Mould has sold a portrait miniature of the woman who inspired a classic Pride and Prejudice character to the Jane Austen’s House museum in Chawton.

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Comerford miniatures bought by single bidder

13 April 2020

The Comerford collection of portrait miniatures, offered for sale by Chiswick Auctions last month, was acquired almost in its entirety by a single bidder.

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Holman Hunt depicted by studio assistant

13 April 2020

The sale of portrait miniatures held online by Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) included a watercolour on ivory of the artist William Holman Hunt (1827-1910).

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Collection assembled by descendant of circumnavigator Anson anchors travel selection

16 March 2020

Offered very early on in the books section of the Travel & Exploration sale at Bonhams (27.5/25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium), a 24-lot collection relating to George Anson amassed by the late Colin Paul, a descendant of the admiral, attracted considerable interest.

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Sexy and sultry Flint tempts buyer

09 March 2020

Textbook watercolour by the British artist takes one of his higher prices in recent years.

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Napoleon: his majesty and tragedy depicted

02 March 2020

Napoleon Bonaparte’s magnetism remains as forceful as ever in UK salerooms.

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Gwyneth Johnstone's frenetic scene of London home hits auction high in Cambridge sale

02 March 2020

Auction prices are on the rise for the late Norfolk artist Gwyneth Johnstone (1914-2010), daughter of the artist Augustus John and niece of the Welsh painter Gwen John.

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Cazabon’s Trinidadian scene surfaces in Lancashire

17 February 2020

A watercolour by Michel-Jean Cazabon (1813-88), Trinidad’s first internationally known artist, sold for £24,000 (plus 18% buyer’s premium) in Lancashire earlier this month.

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Varley the watercolour wonder

17 February 2020

Group of paintings by one of the less well-known masters of the medium comes to light

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Portrait miniature marking naval battle bravery sold in Yorkshire

03 February 2020

This early 19th century portrait miniature offered for sale at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) in Leyburn is widely believed to depict the Irish naval officer Sir Henry D’Esterre Darby (1749-1823). To the reverse is a crystal retaining a lock of hair.

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Burmese watercolours find admirers in a south coast saleroom

03 February 2020

Two large watercolours painted by Y Ba Nyan (1897-1947), one of Burma’s most influential Modern artists, emerged for sale in Folkestone at the end of last year.

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Dead pheasant study attributed to Turner draws interest at Perth auction house

27 January 2020

A watercolour study of a dead pheasant attributed to JMW Turner (1775-1851) was taken to £14,000 at a Scottish auction house.

French boulle cabinets

19th century portrait miniature, French boulle marquetry cabinets and artwork featuring Marlon Brando – six auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes in the last week

17 January 2020

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights this week includes a pair of Napoleon III boulle marquetry cabinets that sold for five-times over estimate and a 19th century portrait miniature that made 13-times estimate.

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ATG letter: Our Swiss scene ‘painted by a Suffragette’

13 January 2020

MADAM – we are appealing for information about the creator of a watercolour picture who we believe may have been a famous Suffragette.

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Dad’s Army put into the picture

23 December 2019

Way before the TV comedy series artist Gilbert Spencer was depicting the Home Guard.

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Biffin’s powerful story recognised with £110,000 self-portrait

16 December 2019

Artist Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) is believed to have had the condition phocomelia and was born without hands, arms or feet.

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