Cattle and Dog at Village Well - Original early 19th-century graphite drawing


An original early 19th-century graphite drawing, Cattle and Dog at Village Well.

This exceptionally delicate graphite drawing, with grey watercolour wash, shows cattle drinking from a trough by a village well. The pastoral theme, as well as the dress of the villagers, are reminiscent of much eighteenth century painting. On heavy laid paper.

There is some minor creasing to the heavy paper, across the lower left corner and extending a short way vertically from the top edge. Some minor age toning and marks as shown. There are glue and paper remnants on the verso, and an abrasion, from previously being laid down, however, due to the thickness of the paper these do not affect the front.
20.9cm x 15.8cm.

This select group of fine cow studies includes drawings attributed to Peter De Wint, one of the chief English watercolourists, Anthony Devis, landscape painter and draughtsman, and Henry Thomas Alken, artist of sporting and coaching subjects. The presence of cows in late 18th- and early 19th-century English landscapes was a feature favoured by artists looking to imbue their pastoral paintings with a sense of calm – a pastoral vision of England, it has been argued, that was designed to appeal to the new class of industrialist collector that came into being with the Royal Academy in 1768.

These drawings form part of a larger collection of mainly equestrian pictures we have for sale, connected with two highly regarded horse painters: Charles Loraine-Smith (1751-1835), a keen horseman known for his early hunting and sporting scenes, and Charles Cooper Henderson (1803-1877), the pre-eminent painter of Victorian horses and coaches. At a time when animal painting was seen as a ‘lower’ form of art, these artists were pioneering in establishing the respectability and status of the genre. The story of why these pictures have come together is a mystery, but it is possible that the collection was at one time owned by Charles Cooper Henderson: our collection includes a watercolour by William James Müller – and, interestingly, Charles’s brother, the distinguished art collector John Henderson, was an avid collector of Müller’s works. 

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Product code: JJ-832

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