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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William Heath Robinson and the art of illustration

02 May 2017

The name of William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) is enshrined in the Oxford English Dictionary. Definition: “Ingeniously or ridiculously over-complicated in design or construction”.

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Having a laugh down at the private London club artwork sale

24 April 2017

Nearly a quarter of the sale total at the auction held by Harry Moore-Gwyn at 25 Blythe Road (20% buyer’s premium) in West Kensington on April 5 came from a collection of original cartoons.

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Lightning strike sparks lively London bidding battle for Byron

24 April 2017

An intriguing 18th century watercolour of a tree struck by lightning fetched a multi-estimate sum at Forum Auctions’ (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) March 30 sale in London.

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Perspectives from a Grand Tour

01 April 2017

Private works on a European theme yield strong prices in Cambridgeshire sale...

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Dillon’s majestic Madeira

01 April 2017

A trio of watercolours painted by British topographical artist Frank Dillon (1823-1909) were among the highlights of Diamond Mills’ (15% buyer’s premium) March 8 sale in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

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Scarfe’s scathing satire to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction

09 March 2017

A rotund Boris Johnson in a polka-dot clown outfit; Barack Obama in a Superman costume getting clobbered by a giant fist; the naked figure of George Bush crouched in the grass like an ape – these are among the illustrations to come under the hammer at Sotheby’s upcoming sale of works by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.

Nonsuch

Watercolour of Henry VIII’s famed lost Palace of Nonsuch saved for the nation

09 December 2016

The earliest and most detailed depiction of Henry VIII’s famed lost Palace of Nonsuch will soon be on public display after The Victoria & Albert Museum saved it for the nation.

Black Grouse by John Cyril Harrison

Ex-Quaritch dealer’s collection comes to auction at Roseberys

01 November 2016

A single-owner sale of pictures and books assembled by the late Howard Radclyffe, a former director of London dealers Quaritch, will be offered at Roseberys on November 19.

Shaykh Zayn al Din watercolour of a stork

Indian miniatures snapped up at Sotheby’s

24 October 2016

A near total sell-out greeted Sotheby’s sale of Indian miniatures from the Khosrovani-Diba collection offered as part of London’s Indian and Islamic art series.

Prout view of Rialto Bridge

British views of Europe come to BADA Fair 2017 - without the politics

06 September 2016

The paintings of British watercolourist and architectural painter Samuel Prout comprise the 2017 loan exhibition for the BADA Fair.

Isaac Oliver's portrait of Lord Herbert of Cherbury

Jacobean miniature acquired by National Trust for Powis Castle

17 August 2016

The National Trust has acquired an important Jacobean portrait miniature for £2.1m from a private seller in a sale brokered by Omnia Art.

Works on Paper Fairs

2016 Works on Paper Fair at the Royal Geographical Society

12 February 2016

Six images from this year's Works on Paper Fair at the Royal Geographical Society. Held at the venue Exhibition Road for the first time, the event runs from February 11-14.

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Sandby tops Hooton Pagnell dispersal

10 December 2015

Topping Bonhams Knightsbridge’s marathon nine-hour sale of items from Hooton Pagnell Hall in South Yorkshire was this 20½in x 2ft 5in (52 x 76cm) watercolour and gouache work by Paul Sandby (1730-1809).

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Modern masters head to Tajan’s sale in Paris

03 December 2015

This 11 x 7in (29 x 20cm) Tête de Femme by Alexej Von Jawlensky is one of over 170 works by a roster of some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art that will feature in a two-part single-owner sale to be held by Tajan in Paris next week.

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Export bar for Niagara Falls picture as Ed Vaizey hopes to keep early watercolour in UK

21 August 2015

The UK government has placed a temporary export bar on the earliest known on-the-spot depiction of Niagara Falls which sold at Christie’s South Kensington earlier this year.

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Auctioneers unite for mammoth Felix Dennis dispersal

14 August 2015

Two regional auctioneers – Halls of Shrewsbury and Bigwoods of Stratford-upon-Avon – are joining forces to conduct an ‘on-the-premises’ sale of art and antiques owned by the colourful publisher Felix Dennis (1947-2014).

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Newly discovered Thomas Girtin watercolour of London knocked down at £125,000

02 June 2015

Found in the attic of a large Welsh house, this watercolour by Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) of St Paul’s Cathedral drew dramatic competition at Chorley’s sale in Gloucestershire.

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New show turns spotlight on Kenneth Rowntree

10 April 2015

Dulwich Picture Gallery launched a long overdue show of watercolours by Eric Ravilious (1903-42) last week, an artist unswayed by fashion whose paintings and designs encapsulate the spirit of inter-War England.

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Rediscovered Ravilious sets new record at £265,000

03 October 2014

When Ann Ullmann, the daughter of Eric Ravilious (1903-42), visited J.S. Auctions’ newly refurbished salerooms in Banbury in August, she declared herself delighted to see this previously unknown 16 x 20in (41 x 52cm) watercolour, above, by her father for the first time.

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A fitting memorial at CSK

09 September 2014

This memorial design featuring a magnificent peacock resting on a bier and surrounded by myrtle leaves was painted by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones in 1886 following the tragic death of Laura Lyttelton, a friend of the artist who died a few days after giving birth to a son.

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