An original 1896 watercolour painting, Attrib. Robert Rampling, Lancaster Castle from the River Lune.
A beautifully atmospheric impressionistic watercolour. The style, palette and subject support an attribution of local artist Robert Rampling (1835-1909), whose work is in the collection of Lancashire Museums. Born in Liverpool, son of a Preston architect, Rampling came to Lancaster as a young man to take up a position at Messrs Seward & Co. - Whitesmiths. He was a self-taught artist who painted watercolours in his leisure time. His work was very popular in Lancaster and he exhibited regularly at the Storey Institute Art Gallery in 1891, 1894, 1895 and 1908.
The painting's colouration and airy, insubstantial quality recalls J.M.W. Turner - who indeed painted at Lancaster earlier in the century.
The view hints at the city’s 18th-century industrial glory - its flourishing port trading to the West Indies - with warehouse buildings clustered on the quayside and a palette of smoky greys and browns. But it is also a scene of tranquility, perhaps early morning or fading evening light, with a lone sailing barge and few strolling figures, backdropped by the majestic silhouette of Lancaster Castle.
There is a similar night view by Rampling in the collection of Lancashire Museums titled 'Lancaster and Skerton Bridge by Night'.
The painting has been historically professionally conserved by lining the entire sheet with Japanese paper.
Unsigned. Inscribed and dated verso: 'Lancaster May 2/96'.
There are some patches of thinning to the watercolour paper, most pronounced to the central clouds, which is why the paper has been lined - only visible when held to the light. There are also slight tears to the paper at the four corners, again, shored up by the lining paper. There is some very minor foxing to the sky are, as shown.
23.9cm x 34.6cm.
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Product code: JM-105