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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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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Album displays Bristol’s brightest minds

09 December 2019

Watercolour collection sold at auction represents a ‘who’s who’ of the city in the 1830s

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Moulton Foweraker’s light of the moon

02 December 2019

Albert Moulton Foweraker’s (1873-1942) main interest as a watercolourist was the effect of blue moonlight on the landscape.

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Parisian panorama

11 November 2019

Among several auctions devoted to Old Master and 19th century paintings taking place in Paris this month will be the 66-lot sale held at Sotheby’s on November 19.

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Ink Asia offers artwork food for thought

30 September 2019

'Le vol de pensée' (2010), shown right, is offered for $25,000 at Ink Asia on the stand of Singapore gallery iPreciation. The framed ink-on-paper composition, 2ft 7in x 2ft 2in (79 x 65cm), is by Gao Xingjian, a Chinese-born artist working in France.

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‘Brother in brush’ art gains global following

30 September 2019

This 21 x 15in (54 x 39cm) watercolour, below, probably depicting the New Julfa quarter of Isfahan, is by the Armenian-Iranian painter Sumbat Kiureghian (1913- 99).

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The web shop window: a watercolour of soldiers by Claud Lovat Fraser

16 September 2019

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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Jacobites retain their devoted following at annual auction

09 September 2019

More reliable today than they ever were in their lifetime, the male line of the Stuarts attracted the familiar devoted following at the annual Scottish Silver & Applied Arts sale at Lyon & Turnbull (25% buyer’s premium).

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