By Graham Reynolds
English artists have made a special contribution to the artwork of watercolor portray. In no different Western state has this very beautiful medium been used so continually, or for works of such stature, as in England among 1750 and the current day. during this basic survey of the complete interval, Graham Reynolds, previously Keeper of work and of Prints and Drawings on the Victoria & Albert Museum, discusses the work of over a hundred artists together with the well known watercolorists corresponding to Cozens, Girtin, Cotman and De Wint, in addition to artists who're both recognized for his or her paintings in different media - Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, Sargent, Henry Moore. The one hundred forty illustrations, sixty four in colour, exhibit the paintings of those and lesser-known artists and show the flexibility of this medium, so the reader should be brought to its use for illustrative sketch and portraiture in addition to to the best examples of conventional panorama watercolors.
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Additional resources for English Watercolors
Occasionally a cloud in the manner of Salvator Rosa spirals upward from a flat landscape reminiscent of Koninc k . 40). The same penchant for nat country is to be found in Dc Wint, who learned it from Girlin. Girtin was also the first of a line of artists Edridge, Prout. Bonington, BOYS, Callow - who fou nd a new topographica l in terest in drawing the streets of Paris. He went there in 1801, the year before his tragically early death at the age of twenty-seven, and in the drawings he made of the narrow streets with their vistas of buildings with regular fa~adcs is to be found the quintessence of Canaletto's teaching to the English draughtsman and the start of a new fashion in topography.
These tricks become mannerisms, and so prolific an artist could nO! fail to repeat himself and often be below his true standard ; but at his best he brings a fres h and interesting element into the English watercolour school (Fig-48). :BOlh Glover and Cristall were gifted in the drawing of mountai nous scenery, especially that of the Lake District ; but whereas Cristall reduces the hills to nat, angu lar forms , in Glover's draWings they arc softly rounded with gentle, unangular contours.
In composition the hand of Gaspard Poussin, Claude and the other seventeenth-century landscape painters lay fa r more heavily upon the work of this group. In colour, while the artists strive after rich ness and complexity, they have, in their competition wi t h oil painting, often caught its dee p tonali ty and its varnish brown. Sir George Beaumont's brown tree and old Cremona violin would not be out of place in the works of Glover or Barrett, Hills or Robson. T he combined efTect of dark tonality with formalized p ictures'lue composition gives a certain heaviness to the productions of the early members of the Old Water-Colour Society which contrasts greatly wi th the lightness of Rooker, Pars and Hearne, to name but three of the predecessors whom they desp ised as old-fashioned makers of feebly-tinted drawings.