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 Antique w/c, Pre-Raphaelite, do you know artist?
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cyril
Junior Member

USA
185 Posts

Posted - Apr 05 2020 :  22:39:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,

I recently came into possession of this museum (!) quality antique watercolor which I am seeking your help for establishing an authorship ..... It is watercolor on paper, size 17 x 14 inches, strong vivid colors, depicting 3 girls sitting near cliff top surrounded by animals ....Image gives me a feeling of being (possibly) pre-raphaelite circle work but I just can not pin point the artist (could be someone important?). Please look for a traces of signature in the last photo (quite faded) that appears to start with "A ...." and then date 62 (obviously for 1862). Seller thought to see "Aug 62", but I believe there is another letter after A before it shows U and possibly G for the last letter. If this is a name, I can not decipher it ....My apologies but it is really hard to make a sharp image of that signature area. I was wondering if some expert of pre-raphaelite art history can help me out ....... Came from UK art dealer but no any history or provenance known .....
Thank you kindly,
Cyril.



ATTACHMENTS:
pre_raph_1.jpg
pre_raph_2.jpg
pre_raph_3.jpg
pre_raph_4.jpg
pre_raph_5.jpg

arb
Senior Member

Netherlands
835 Posts

Posted - Apr 06 2020 :  07:10:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the distance you see the construction of the second phase of Dover Harbour's Admiralty Pier which was completed in 1864.
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cyril
Junior Member

USA
185 Posts

Posted - Apr 06 2020 :  11:26:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dear Arb,

Thank you very much! what an eye you have that you were able to recognize the Dover Pier's construction out of those few dots in far distance (pardon me my ignorance !) ...

When posting my inquiry yesterday I forgot to ask if someone could have guessed the location and now you did it!

I wonder if the location will help us to narrow the wide list of potential artists down to a fewer names now .....

Thank you once again,
Cyril.
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arb
Senior Member

Netherlands
835 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2020 :  01:00:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Cyril, have a drink, then click the link ....

https://tinyurl.com/rolek6e

But some fetch good prices:
https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/english-school-after-edwin-landseer-a-time-1939165-details.aspx
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cyril
Junior Member

USA
185 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2020 :  10:19:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dear Arb,

oh my, oh my .....Thank you so much for sharing this information. As exciting as this is going to sound (Oh, I have this lovely watercolor by this major artist!) I have a million questions running through my head right now:

do you think this is an original ...? what does your well trained eye and experienced "gut" tell you ..? perhaps the seller was right and it does say "aug 62" for this to be one of his studies dating back to august 1862 ...? I have browsed other works by this artist and have noticed he painted this scene quite a few times .... but mine does not have seagulls in the sky ....

Or does this rather look like a copy of one of his follower (after all he was a well known painter in his time). Since I do not have any credible provenance to support we always have to assume this is a copy, right ..??

please let me know.
best,
Cyril.
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cyril
Junior Member

USA
185 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2020 :  10:36:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arb,

just to follow up on my previous questions - perhaps the absence of seagulls is rather a good sign (if somebody was copying him they would have rather copied the popular image, the one you sent me the link to) and please notice how 3rd lady (a Mom) has a head turned to slightly different position compared to the widely popular image ..... do you think my version could be in-between works sketch dated to Aug 1862 indeed ..???

Thanks again for checking this for me.
Cyril.
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Adrian
Average Member

Germany
287 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2020 :  14:40:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi Cyril,

the seagulls are there by the way, just very faint. It seems someone has prepared them and changed his mind.

Regards, Ad
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cyril
Junior Member

USA
185 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2020 :  15:52:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Adrian,

Than you for pointing that out ....I do see seagulls now ...

so do you think this is a copy by someone else other than artist ...??

thanks,
Cyril.
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arb
Senior Member

Netherlands
835 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2020 :  02:36:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Cyril, British art is a specialized field we on the continent know very little about. To judge the subtle scale of quality in English watercolours is above me. So I can contribute no more than a few thoughts.

All the copies visible on the web, from drawings to prints and oils, seem to follow the original painstakingly. Though the artist certainly had the skills to add the gulls and was planning to, in the end he didn't. Who would allow himself this artistic freedom to change a masterpiece? Leaves room for wishful thinking indeed...

We see neither the entire sheet nor the back. Landseer more than once signed not in recto but only in verso.

The most important check is the comparison to other works on paper by the master: did he use these colours, do the eyes and hands match? Takes a bit of time.

The text in pencil convincingly reads "Aug" in a British hand-writing and "62" as the 2 cannot be read any other way. So the image existed for more than a decade when this wc was done. I know from continental artists they sometimes did 'reprises' of their successful works to please collectors, nice ladies or to pay the bills.

Just my 2 cents..

arb
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Adrian
Average Member

Germany
287 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2020 :  02:46:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am also really not sure. From my point of view, it is at least of better quality than this one: https://www.bernaerts.eu/item-detail.php?veil=c1041&item=605 . One can be in doubt if this is really by Landseer.

Regards, Ad
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cyril
Junior Member

USA
185 Posts

Posted - Apr 10 2020 :  16:33:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,

I just wanted to thank Arb and Adrian one more time. I would not have made any progress if not for you two!

gratefully yours,
Cyril.
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MTC
New Member

United Kingdom
38 Posts

Posted - Apr 10 2020 :  17:53:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cyril, I just wanted to tell you how much I like your painting. I find it Gorgeous!

Teresa Coutinho
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