George Holmes, Pastoral Scene with Church & Figures, Ireland -c.1797 watercolour


An original c.1797 watercolour painting, George Holmes Pastoral Scene with Church & Figures, Ireland.

An attractive pastoral scene painted in grey wash by Irish artist George Holmes (fl.1789-1804). This was likely painted during Holmes’s tour of the southern counties of Ireland in 1797. This work is similar to another grey wash drawing by Holmes in the British Museum, which shows a different church also by a stream and with figures and horse.

The drawing is presented in its historic wash line mount and comes with an accompanying backing board, which gives the provenance as The Molesworth Antiques Gallery, 28 Molesworth Street, Dublin. Please note that the colour of the mount is in reality much more cream than our photograph suggests.

Signed lower left and verso.
There is some age toning across the sheet as shown, and a 3cm closed tear to the paper extending from the edge at the upper left. There is also a historic, barely visible repair to the paper at the lower left corner. There is a slight ripple to the paper running horizontally in the sky area, and also an oblique line of indentation in the central sky. Please see photos for detail.
23.6cm x 35.8cm.

George Holmes (fl.1789-1804) was a pupil in the Dublin Society’s School, where he won a medal for landscape drawing in 1789. Afterwards he found employment making drawings of views for book illustrations. Engravings after his work appeared in a number of books and magazines throughout the 1790s. His subjects were Irish, often including castles and priories, such as Roebuck Castle, Dunloe Castle, Blarney Castle and Swords Castle, and St John’s Priory, Kilkenny and Cashel Cathedral.

In the autumn of 1797 he toured southern Ireland, and the resulting pictures were published in London in 1801 in a book entitled ‘Sketches of some of the Southern Counties of Ireland collected during a Tour in the autumn of 1797, in a series of Letters’. Six views after Holmes were engraved in aquatint by Samuel Alken, including the Rock of Cashel, Cormac’s Chapel, Interior of the Abbey of Holycross, Ross Castle, Muckross Lake and Castle of Lismore.

It is thought that Holmes left Ireland around 1799, exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1799 and 1802. Five drawings by Holmes are in the British Museum collection.

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Product code: JM-656

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