William Callow (1812 1908) British Listed Artist
Watercolour over pencil. Titled and dated Dunster Aug 24th 47 (lower right). Absolutely stunning and Original in Excellent Condition. Double Mounted and Framed in a quality, gold painted Frame with plain moulded borders, also in good condition; some age marks in places, but easily retouched. Inscribed Label attached to the reverse Ernest Brown and Phillips, The Leicester Galleries (see Provenance below).
Measurements: Image 25.5cm x 35.5cm (approx 10 inches x 14 inches) Framed 44.5cm x 55cm (approx 17.5 inches x 21.5 inches)
This watercolour is by William Callow (1812 1908), a British Listed Artist, and was drawn in 1847 during a sketching tour of Somerset. He was elected to the O.W.S in 1848 and his best work is generally considered to date from around this time. William Callow's work can be found in many important public and private collections including The Wallace Collection, London; Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Jersey Heritage Trust; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and many others. Recent auctions indicate the strong popularity of the Artist amongst public and private collectors.
PROVENANCE: With the Leicester Galleries (Ernest Brown and Phillips); Exhibited October – November 1907, item No.2, according to inscribed Label attached to the reverse; Mrs Nelson, 32 Portman Square, London W1.
The Leicester Galleries was an 18th and 19th century art-dealing business that was carried on by two families, the Browns and the Phillips, for three generations from large showrooms in Leicester Square, close to The National Gallery, the Government offices in Whitehall and the aristocratic clubs nearby. They moved premises in the seventies but are still in existence today.
LITERATURE: Town, Country, Shore and Sea, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; 1982 exhibition catalogue.
William Callow (1812 1908) was born at Greenwich, London. At eleven, he entered the studio of Theodore Fielding (1781 1851). In 1829 he went to Paris where he worked with Newton Fielding (1799-1856) and, in 1831, he shared a studio there with Thomas Shotter Boys. He exhibited regularly at the Salon and for a time taught drawing to the children of King Louis-Philippe. Between 1835 and 1862 he made a series of walking tours in central and southern Europe. London became his base once more and was elected to the Old Watercolour Society in 1848. He settled at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, in 1855. He exhibited twenty-nine works at the Royal Academy from 1850 to 1876, which were mainly landscapes of scenes from throughout Europe, where he travelled extensively.
Dunster Castle, in Somerset, England, dominates a steep hill overlooking the picturesque village of Dunster. The hill has been fortified since Saxon times, although nothing now remains of these early defences. During the early medieval period the sea reached the base of the hill offering a natural defence, and strong walls, towers, ramparts and outworks protected the other sides. In the late 14th century the castle came into the possession of the Luttrell family, and remained in their ownership for the next six hundred years. By the 15th century the sea had receded and the Luttrells created the deer park. When Sir George Luttrell inherited in 1571, the castle was dilapidated. In 1617, Sir George employed the architect, William Arnold, to erect a new house in the lower ward of the castle. During the Civil War, Dunster was a Royalist stronghold under the command of Colonel Wyndham. In November 1645 Parliamentary forces started a siege which lasted until an honourable surrender of the castle in April 1646. Dunster shared the fate of many other Royalist castles and had its defences demolished to prevent any further use against Parliament. All that now remains of the medieval fortifications are the impressive gatehouse and the stumps of two towers.The house was modified and developed over the following centuries, and much of the current appearance dates from the 18th century when the park was landscaped and the Green Court, terraced grounds and follies were created.
Willliam Callow made a sketching tour of Somerset and surrounding areas in 1847 and visited Dunster where he executed the present watercolour. The Artist has captured not only the mood and atmosphere of a locality with his fluid brush strokes but has also chosen to depict the exact topography of a view. Callow owned copies of Turner's England and Wales series which had always been an inspiration to him. Foliage is rendered not only by the usual looping outline but also by repeated curly clusters, and the effect of the interplay between the pencil work and the green and grey washes is extremely beautiful.