Conrad H.R. Carelli, Continental Street Scene - Early 20th-century watercolour

An original early 20th-century watercolour painting, Conrad H.R. Carelli Continental Street Scene with School Children.

This delightful and unusual watercolour is by highly regarded British artist Conrad H.R. Carelli. The watercolour is signed, and inscribed "The Langham", referring to the illustrious Langham Sketching Club, of which Carelli was a member. 

The scene depicted is continental, probably southern French or Italian, and features gowned and satchelled school children processing into a open doorway. The wonderfully warm, sand-coloured building facade dominates the composition, emphasising the diminutive scale of the young figures, and inviting question as to what is inside the building. The scene is surprisingly intimate, a snapshot in time, rather than a grand set piece - the figures briefly glimpsed from behind before disappearing from view.

The painting exemplifies Carelli's loose brushwork and sensitive use of colour to capture the feeling of a place. Conrad Carelli travelled extensively, including spending time in Italy, as well as in France and the Near East.

The painting is presented in a good quality gilt frame and attractive hand-ruled mount. Please note that the shadow cast across the upper three-quarters of the picture in our photograph of the framed picture does not exist in reality. The main photograph accurately depicts the colour of the painting.

We will ship the frame with the glazing intact. It will be packaged securely but please note we cannot guarantee safe transit of the glass. If you would rather it ship without the glass, please contact us and we would be happy to remove it.

Signed and inscribed lower right. Inscribed indistinctly verso.

Generally in fine condition, there is minor faint foxing at the upper right as shown.

Painting: 24.2cm x 17.1cm.
Frame: 47.5cm x 39cm.

Born in London into a well-known family of Neapolitan artists, Conrad Hector Raphael Carelli (1869-1956) was great-grandson of painter Settimio Carelli, follower of the style of Pompeo Battoni, in Apulia, Italy; grandson of Raffaele Carelli (1795-1864), painter of the School of Posillipo; and son of artist Gabriele Carelli (1821-1900) who moved from Italy to London, where he married an Englishwomen and Queen Victoria became one of his principal patrons.

Conrad Carelli studied in Paris at the Académie Julian in 1889, under William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury. The Carelli family wintered in Menton on the French Riviera, and Conrad’s father Gabriele died there in 1900. For a while Conrad lived and exhibited at Menton. He shared his father’s propensity for travel.

Carelli was a member of the Langham Sketching Club. The Langham Sketching Club, founded in 1838, brought together the cream of London’s artists, including Arthur Rackham, Sir John Tenniel and Alfred Munnings. A combination of gentleman’s club, studio and bohemian drinking hole, members would meet every Friday night at 7pm, and draw for two hours on any given subject. Discussion of the works followed, then a hearty supper with plentiful beer was served.

Text copyright © 2016 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JC-992

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