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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Albert Wainwright works highlight Stourbridge sale

26 October 2020

The Decades of Design sale at Fieldings (24% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Stourbridge on October 15-16 included 52 works from the family of Albert Wainwright (1898-1943). He was a Castleford artist who trained at the Leeds School of Art in 1914.

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Female artists under London Art Week spotlight

19 October 2020

This month, London Art Week (LAW) uses the digital platform it launched over the summer to run Art History in Focus. The event combines online discourse with exhibitions and objects on offer in galleries (and on gallery websites), putting the spotlight on two major themes: women artists and framing.

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Arader’s perfect score

05 October 2020

The October 10 auction at New York’s Arader Galleries includes the collection of the surgeon Dr Seymour Schwartz (2020) – a map collector Graham Arader considered something of a mentor.

'A Very Gallant Gentleman' by John Charles Dollman

Sketch of Captain Oates walking to his death makes £23,000 in Essex

29 September 2020

A sketch for the painting ‘A Very Gallant Gentleman’ by John Charles Dollman (1851-1934) sold for £23,000 at Sworders last week.

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Coincidence reunites Messel brothers after 99 years as watercolour portraits emerge at two separate auctions

28 September 2020

Separated for many years, portraits of two brothers by WBE Ranken (1881-1941) came up at auction at different London salerooms last week. The fact that they emerged on the market simultaneously was seemingly pure coincidence.

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Bawden’s decimal coin design makes a Mint

28 September 2020

Edward Bawden (1903-89) was one of a number of artists invited to submit designs ahead of Britain’s changeover to decimal coinage. Designs were invited for six coins: the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p pieces.

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Six Ruskins add pep to Peppiatt’s latest show

28 September 2020

A group of works by famed Victorian art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) features in Guy Peppiatt’s latest exhibition of British drawings and watercolours.

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Hooray for the hussars: Duke of Gloucester's regimental collection brings demand

14 September 2020

The collection of pictures formerly owned by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, offered at Bellmans included 42 lots relating to the 10th Royal Hussars.

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Major general sought after by militaria fans

07 September 2020

A group of three watercolours depicting Indian scenes attributed to Major General John Brownrigg Ballasis (1806-90) attracted interest at a timed sale held this summer by 1818 Auctioneers (20% buyer’s premium) in Milnthorpe, Cumbria.

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Himalayan raja rises to £4600 when reoffered

07 September 2020

An intriguing Indian miniature portrait drew strenuous competition against an estimate of just £30-50 at Clarke’s (18% buyer’s premium) in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

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Indian miniatures expand appeal as demand grows on the subcontinent

07 September 2020

Indian miniatures are a common sight at UK auctions. With a keen, dedicated and often very knowledgeable collecting base, they remain a somewhat independent but active sub-set of the art market.

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Thorburns break from country house cover

10 August 2020

The contents of a country house in Exmouth turned up not one but two large watercolours by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935), the pre-eminent British painter of ornithological subjects.

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German artist's view of Oxford from afar brings bidding at Sherborne sale

06 July 2020

The German-born watercolourist and musician John Baptist Malchair (c.1730-1812) was a key figure in 18th century Oxford.

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Dealer Katz defined and refined

22 June 2020

London auction of dealer's works follows similar 2013 sale and Rafael Valls offering held this April

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Pick of the week: Meet the fakir who likes his sheep raw

22 June 2020

The highlight of Bonhams’ rescheduled sale of Indian and Islamic art held on June 11 was a group of a nine Company School watercolours with an unbroken provenance back to 1812.

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Early eyewitness views of Australian Aborigines

15 June 2020

An album of 12 early watercolour drawings of Australian Aborigines made a surprising £72,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at Forum Auctions in London.

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Politician and peer in portrait form brings strong interest at Surrey auction

08 June 2020

A group of portrait miniatures sold recently by John Nicholson’s (30/25% buyer’s premium) in Haslemere, Surrey included this English school image, c.1700, of William Fermor, 1st Baron Leominster.

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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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