Ellis, River Derwent, Matlock, Peak District -Mid-19th-century watercolour


An original mid-19th-century watercolour painting, Ellis River Derwent, Matlock, Peak District.

A very fine watercolour painting in the round of the River Derwent winding at Matlock, Derbyshire. The composition is dramatically picturesque, with subtle earthy shades capturing the lush late summer landscape. On watercolour card.

Unsigned. Inscribed verso: 'Matlock'.
Minor marks to the right edge as shown. There are adhesive and paper remnants around the periphery verso, due to historical mounting. Otherwise, in very good condition.
16.9cm x 25.3cm.

This work is one of a collection of exceptionally fine watercolours we have for sale, which were once in the possession of Sir Charles Robert Bignold. The watercolours are the work of a father and daughter by the name of Ellis (E. Ellis and A.A. Ellis) and span dramatic and picturesque locations across England, Wales and the Continent.

Whilst the identity of the Ellis artists is a mystery, an inscription accompanying the collection explains its origins: ‘from a series of sketches executed during a pedestrian tour by a father and his daughter, 1850-75’. The paintings are of consistently high quality and are a remarkable first-hand record of a father and daughter’s ambitious tour through some of Europe’s most picturesque scenery in the mid-19th century.

The paintings have a prestigious provenance, being formerly in the collection of Captain Sir Charles Robert Bignold (1892-1970), who belonged to the prosperous Bignold family of Norwich - his ancestor Thomas had established the Norwich Union Insurance Company in 1797. Charles Robert Bignold was a distinguished collector of fine books – his ‘picture book’ estate sale was held at Sotheby’s in 1971 – and the outstanding watercolours in this collection are a testament to Bignold’s fine connoisseurship.

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Product code: JH-797

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