Sir Richard Westmacott RA, Ruined Church - Original early 19th-century watercolour

An original early 19th-century watercolour painting, Sir Richard Westmacott RA Ruined Church.

A beautifully stippled watercolour painting by Richard Westmacott. Sir Richard Westmacott RA (1775 – 1856) is best known today as a sculptor: his work adorns the British Museum and Marble Arch, and he has statues of no less than four Prime Ministers in Westminster Abbey. Westmacott was also a first-class painter, with a taste for Romantic subjects such as this one – the overgrown ruins of a church. It is signed Rd. Westmacott. The painting is accompanied by an inscription on a separate fragment of paper: "Sir Richard Westmacott".

Signed lower right: 'Rd Westmacott.'.
There is minor age toning to the upper edge, the odd spot of foxing and paper remnants on the verso, from historically being laid down.
27.8cm x 17.8cm.

This work comes from a Victorian album containing a wide variety of watercolour paintings and pencil sketches, all from the early decades of the nineteenth century, and many with a connection to India.

The album seems to have belonged to an HS Bryant: one of its pages is inscribed ‘HS Bryant’s diary,’ while another (also signed HS Bryant) relates the circumstances in which a sketch was made, and others are attributed to ‘my mother, Lady Bryant.’ Given the connections of many of these pictures to Simla in India, this would seem to be a reference to Elizabeth, Lady Bryant, who was the wife of Major General Sir Jeremiah Bryant CB (1783 - 1845), an officer in the Bengal Army. That would make HS Bryant the artist Henry Bryant, who was born in India, and painted many Indian landscape views.

Bryant seems to have collected many of these pictures for their personal connection to himself: there are sketches by his mother, and others that he seems to have made himself, showing the places he visited. At the same time, he seems to have had a keen eye for high quality work produced by other artists. Among the works in this collection are ones by some prominent nineteenth century artists, including Sir Charles D’Oyly, Sir Richard Westmacott, John Lewis Roget, and John Henderson.

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Product code: JG-181

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