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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Cozens enters new territory and breaks the £2m barrier

26 July 2010

Among a series of records for British watercolours posted during Sotheby's sale entitled An Exceptional Eye: A Private British Collection on July 14, the most spectacular price was the £2.1m bid for this striking view of the Lake of Albano and Castel Gandolfo by John Robert Cozens (1752-1797).

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Rayner hits top form in Stoke

22 December 2009

THIS outstanding Louise Rayner (1832-1924) watercolour, depicting the Butter Market at Ludlow, Shropshire, posted a new house record for Louis Taylor of Stoke-on-Trent at their latest sale.

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The gift to say thank you for being saved from treason

16 February 2009

BY 1780, John Trumbull (1756-1843), a budding young artist from Lebanon, Connecticut who had sketched the Revolutionary War, found himself in grave difficulty.

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Unknown drawings by ‘father of British watercolours’ comes to light in Edinburgh

22 December 2008

A Borders property provided Thomson Roddick (15% buyer's premium) with a sensational discovery for their sale in Rosewell, Edinburgh on December 4.

Fedden offered at charity auction

17 November 2008

A Mary Fedden watercolour is among the items for sale on the philanthropic auction site www.buyoncegivetwice.co.uk

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Ruskin’s cherry blossom takes £20,000

11 April 2008

A TOUCH of spring arrived in Dorchester on April 10-11 where amongst a number of five-figure prices at Duke’s two-day sale was this tiny watercolour of a branch of cherry blossom by the prolific Victorian theorist, critic and artist John Ruskin (1819-1900). Dated 1857, it is displayed here a fraction less than its actual size.

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Another treasure from the Oxford terrace

28 January 2008

Dukes have negotiated the sale to the nation of two major Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Music by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones and Hamlet and Ophelia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti were found in the Oxfordshire home of the late Jean Preston that also yielded two panels from the San Marco altarpiece by Fra Angelico sold by the Dorchester auctioneers last year for £1.7m.

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Striking a festive note at £1.5m

18 December 2007

The Nativity and Annunciation to the Shepherds scenes illustrated here are part of a superb group of 51 miniatures dating from the last years of the 12th century.

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First Fleet gem from the hand of Australia’s first Western immigrant artist

10 December 2007

SMALL in size but large in shock value, this portrait miniature stunned the Gorringes’ saleroom when it sold at £90,000 plus 17.5 per cent buyer’s premium on December 6.

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Dadd sketch heads for the Met in New York

29 October 2007

ART dealer Andrew Sim has sold a watercolour by Richard Dadd (1817-1886) to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It is the first work by the enigmatic Victorian artist to enter the museum’s vast art collection.

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Watercolour discoveries at the double in the provinces

03 September 2007

Cheshire auctioneer Sir Patrick Cheyne will sell a remarkable cache of work by the Sheffield School watercolourist George Hamilton Constantine (1878-1967) on September 7.

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Nothing small about miniature prices

11 June 2007

THE market for early English portrait miniatures received a sizeable fillip in London last week. The auction record was broken twice within the space of 24 hours with the sale of two iconic images of major figures in British history and this was backed up by a crop of other strong prices for top flight examples from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Sir John Soane’s view of Bucks… all the way from Guernsey

23 October 2006

“A MOMENT of European importance” is how architects acknowledge Tyringham Hall in Buckinghamshire. It is one of the greatest country houses designed by Sir John Soane (1753-1837), the leading architect of his generation.

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Found in the attic: Benjamin money

25 July 2006

Four Beatrix Potter watercolour Christmas cards, recently discovered in a Wiltshire attic, will be sold by Highworth, Swindon auctioneers Kidson-Trigg on September 20. The cards have been consigned by descendants of the original recipients, Elizabeth (1888-1977) and Elinor (1886-1979) Lupton.

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Ravilious high and dry at £76,000

18 April 2006

Works by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) are only very occasionally seen on the market. So when this evocative watercolour Salt Marsh was offered at Sworders (15% buyer’s premium) sale in Stansted Mountfitchet on April 11 it attracted at least seven interested parties.

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Rediscovered Blake watercolours will be sold in New York in May

27 February 2006

A cache of William Blake watercolours, unearthed in a Glasgow bookshop five years ago, are to be sold in New York after attempts to keep them together in the United Kingdom have failed.

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First Fleet folio sails to record treaty sale

08 November 2005

Dreweatt Neate Fine Art have arranged a major private treaty sale to the National Library of Australia, on behalf of a prominent UK family, of a historically important folio of watercolours.

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He went on to inspire the Shire

27 July 2005

Long before J.R.R. Tolkien settled down to write The Hobbit, he had acquired a postcard reproduction of the ink, watercolour and gouache painting Der Berggeist (The Mountain Spirit).

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The watercolour effect

31 May 2005

The rainbow plate seen above right comes from an 1814 first issue* of David Cox’s Treatise on landscape Painting and Effect in Watercolours, an oblong folio work that incorporates a hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece and 31 plates (15 coloured, 15 in sepia) as well as 24 soft ground etchings.

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The re-emergence of the lost royals…

19 April 2005

In November 1933, the Queen Mother (then Duchess of York) wrote to Charles Edmund Brock (1870-1938), a noted illustrator and society painter, commissioning a family portrait.

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