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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Newbury's work at Bourne Gallery

16 September 2004

THIS year marks the 200th birthday of the Royal Watercolour Society and many past members, such as William Callow (1812-1908), have been masters in portraying the detail and differing surface textures of building.

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Seeing cats and getting kicks

01 September 2004

BACK in London, Chris Beetles of Ryder Street in St James’s has just opened his amusing annual show of cat pictures, which, as always, features an important group of works by the world’s most famous exponent of the genre, Louis Wain (1860-1939).

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Will Pitcher be revealed to more marine fans now?

01 September 2004

DESPITE having success in his day, it seems a major oversight that marine artist Neville Sotheby Pitcher (1889-1959) does not make it into the specialist reference books such as E.H.H. Archibald’s The Dictionary of Sea Painters.

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Parrot and poet support the Arvon Foundation

19 August 2004

The Parrot Pen-man, an ink and watercolour drawing by Quentin Blake that sold for £1200, was among 40 lots offered at Sotheby’s on July 8 on behalf of the Arvon Foundation, a literary charity that provides residential creative writing courses.

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Kate’s portrait of her famous father

10 August 2004

KATE Dickens adored her father but found the situation at home after her parents’ separation to be intolerable and in 1860, desperate to get away, she entered into what was to prove a less than happy marriage to Wilkie Collins’ younger brother Charles.

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Pissarro drawings of Venezuela

21 July 2004

A 56-sheet sketch book by Camille Pissarro, 8 x 11in (21 x 28cm), dating from his stay in Venezuela between April and August 1854, sold for €150,000 (£100,000) at Piasa (20.33/13.16% buyer's premium) on June 18.

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The Cat, the Grinch & Horton

21 July 2004

A Christie’s New York sale of June 9 included a collection of Dr Seuss books, illustrated letters and other ephemera formed by Jed Mattes, who in 1977, following the death of Theodor Geisel’s long-term agent Phyllis Jackson, took over as his representative.

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Markets shift as Hunt followers are moving inside…

13 July 2004

IN the eyes of many of today’s collectors, it is the realist interiors, which range from old farm buildings to grand rooms, and the figure subjects of William Henry Hunt (1790-1864), which are most desirable, a fact highlighted by the artist’s sale results.

When two low points of the market combine, who is going to shell out £500?

13 July 2004

THE problem with over-ambitious estimates does not just apply to the sort of significant paintings which consignors may be led to believe are worth sums in the £100,000-£1m range.

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…and the appeal of Rowlandson now lies at the affordable level

13 July 2004

THOMAS Rowlandson’s (1756-1827) watercolour Place des Victoires, Paris (estimated £60,000-80,000) failed to find a buyer when offered at Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) on July 1.

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A Rowlandson revolution? Drawing conclusions as major-name works come up for sale again

29 June 2004

BACK in July 1984, Christie’s took £75,000 (£81,000 with premium) for Thomas Rowlandson’s (1756-1827) pièce de résistance watercolour of Box-lobby loungers.

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Gainsborough’s finest takes a £65,000 loss

29 June 2004

WAS it a case of not being market-fresh or a change in fashion that resulted in such a dramatic nose-dive in value for this black chalk, stump and watercolour, right, by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), when it came up at Christie’s King Street on June 3? Against hopes of £40,000-60,000 it scraped home with a final bid of £35,000 (£41,825 with premium) from a private collector.

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Preview

29 June 2004

ON July 15, Bonhams will present a double-catalogue sale of 500 lots of natural history books and watercolours from a single collection and one of the highlights will be a very special copy of Audebert & Viellot’s Oiseaux dorés ou a reflets metalliques... of 1800-02.

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Travies looks good and soft enough to touch...

16 June 2004

OVER a period of 30 years, the late Sir Charles Clarke of Broadhurst Manor in Sussex built up a remarkable collection of engravings, drawings and other material by Edouard Travies. He came to be recognised as the leading authority on the artist and his collection of Travies lithographs of La Chasse and other similar suites of plates is perhaps the finest ever to have come onto the market.

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Why the watercolour world of Lear now looks affordable

15 June 2004

OVER the last couple of years, a number of auctioneers have been complaining that lesser-name Victorian watercolours in the sub-£500 range have become the weakest of all areas at picture sales, sometimes to the point of having no market at all.

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Langley-lover triumphs again

09 June 2004

THE West Midlands auctioneers Fieldings (12.5% buyer’s premium) are making something of a habit of getting impressive prices for market-fresh watercolours by the Newlyn School painter Walter Langley (1852-1922).

Scenes from the Snowfields and the Ice World

19 May 2004

A travel sale held by Christie’s South Kensington on April 29 was a mix of books, prints and pictures and seen here are two items from a section of that sale devoted to the Alpine regions.

Pocket-sized appeal of history on a grand scale

11 May 2004

RUSSIAN interest in their own heritage propelled the prices of two Imperial Russian subjects in the Albion collection, sold at Bonhams' (19.5/10% buyer's premium) New Bond Street rooms on April 22, to very high levels.

Sashes with youthful dash

11 May 2004

STUDIES of children tend to be one of the most popular subjects for miniature collectors, and there was plenty of choice in the Albion collection sold at Bonhams' (19.5/10% buyer's premium) New Bond Street rooms on April 22, enough indeed for the room to demonstrate some distinct preference.

Rival trio at Sudbury set new record for Bawden watercolour

05 May 2004

INTENSE competition between three bidders on the telephone and two in the room pushed the watercolours of Edward Bawden (1903-1989) into new financial territory when this signed and dated, 1956 composition, right, House at Ironbridge, fetched £10,500 at the Sudbury, Suffolk rooms of Olivers (12.5% buyer’s premium) on April 1.

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