Sir Charles D'Oyly, Rhein View at Rheinstein Castle, Germany -c.1838 ink drawing




An original c.1838 pen & ink drawing, Sir Charles D'Oyly Rhein View at Rheinstein Castle, Germany.

This dramatic drawing by Sir Charles D’Oyly (1781-1845) shows the especially fine draughtsmanship for which the artist was known. D’Oyly was born in India and spent his working life there with the Bengal Civil Service, based in Calcutta, Dacca and Patna from 1798 to 1838. Whilst at Dacca he met the artist George Chinnery and became his pupil from 1808 to 1812; his style was greatly influenced by Chinnery. As an amateur artist D’Oyly was greatly admired by the European community, and he became the centre of a fashionable group devoted to drawing.

This drawing, on watermarked J Whatman 1837 paper, dates from after D’Oyly’s retirement from India to Italy in 1838. The majority of D’Oyly’s output was Indian in subject, so this Rheinland view is somewhat unusual. An album of ink drawings of '30 Views in the Tyrol and Italy' dating from around 1840 is in the collection of the Yale Centre for British Art.

An inscription in the hand of the artist reads ‘Castle of Rhinestein occupied by Prince Frederick of Prussia.’ This depiction of the castle dates from around the time of the Prince’s completion of its rebuilding (having bought the castle ruins in 1823), when the castle became the Prince’s favourite residence and host to many heads of state, including Queen Victoria.

Signed lower right: 'C D’Oyly'. Inscribed lower left: 'Castle of Rhinestein occupied by Prince Frederick of Prussia.'

The verso bears a partial inscription 'Geant Coblentz', which likely refers to Hotel du Geant, a large inn in Coblentz at that time - possibly D'Oyly stayed there. There is also a later inscription on the verso, ‘By Sir Charles D’Oyly, on the Rhine.’

Some minor age toning, as shown. There are two repaired tears to the lower edge of the sheet, and creasing across the lower left corner. There is a soft oblique crease towards the top of the sheet, upper left.
22.2cm x 29.2cm.
Unframed.

This work comes from a Victorian album containing a wide variety of watercolour paintings and pencil sketches, all from the early decades of the nineteenth century, and many with a connection to India.

The album seems to have belonged to an HS Bryant: one of its pages is inscribed ‘HS Bryant’s diary,’ while another (also signed HS Bryant) relates the circumstances in which a sketch was made, and others are attributed to ‘my mother, Lady Bryant.’ Given the connections of many of these pictures to Simla in India, this would seem to be a reference to Elizabeth, Lady Bryant, who was the wife of Major General Sir Jeremiah Bryant CB (1783 - 1845), an officer in the Bengal Army. That would make HS Bryant the artist Henry Bryant, who was born in India, and painted many Indian landscape views.

Bryant seems to have collected many of these pictures for their personal connection to himself: there are sketches by his mother, and others that he seems to have made himself, showing the places he visited. At the same time, he seems to have had a keen eye for high quality work produced by other artists. Among the works in this collection are ones by some prominent nineteenth century artists, including Sir Charles D’Oyly, Sir Richard Westmacott, John Lewis Roget, and John Henderson.

Text copyright © 2017 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JG-177


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