Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (British, 1821–1906)

The Citadel of Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg

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Watercolour with touches of white over pencil on blue paper

14 x 17.3 cm

The second son of Hercules Sharpe, the artist was educated at Harrow. After leaving Cambridge, where he read mathematics, he decided to become an artist and studied in Rome for three years. On the death of his elder brother he inherited the Brabazon name and estates in Ireland. He spent his summers in England and his winters travelling in Europe and, from the 1860s, further afield. In 1891 Sargent persuaded him to have an exhibition at the Goupil Gallery, and as a result in his old age he was at the forefront of the modern movement.

He was most influenced by Turner, Cox, Müller and de Wint, and his style owes much to Turner’s late work. Turner drew several views of Luxembourg on his Meuse–Moselle tour of 1839, and a watercolour from a similar viewpoint is in the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain (TB CCXXX1 0), although it is unlikely that Brabazon would have seen this work.

Arthur Severn (British, 1842–1931)

Dent du Midi, from the valley of the Rhone – early morning

Arthur Severn
framed work

Watercolour and bodycolour over traces of pencil on blue paper, inscribed in pencil on old mount (and partially strengthened in pencil) Dent du midi- from valley of the Rhone- early morning

17.4 x 25.1 cm

The Dents du Midi is a mountain with seven summits in the Chablais Alps in the Swiss canton of Valais, reaching a height of 3257 metres (10,686 feet). Dominating the Vald’Illiez and the Rhône Valley, to the south it faces the Lac de Salanfe, an artificial reservoir. Geologically it makes up a part of the massif Haut Giffre. In this watercolour the Haut Cime, the highest summit, dominates the composition.

In 1871 Severn married Joan Agnew, a cousin of the Ruskins, who had acted as companion to John Ruskin’s mother, who died in that year. When Ruskin then moved from Denmark Hill in South London to Brantwood in the Lake District, the Severns accompanied him and remained part of the household until his death.

In April 1872 the Severns were invited by Ruskin on a continental tour; Albert Goodwin was also one of the party. Goodwin and Severn sketched together at Mont Blanc, at Chambéry and at Geneva, from where they continued to Italy. The present drawing probably derives from this trip.

Literature: James S. Dearden, ed., The Professor: Arthur Severn’s Memoir of John Ruskin, London: Allen & Unwin, 1967 I am grateful to Stephen Wildman and Christopher Newall for their comments on this drawing.

Edward Lear (1812-1888)

Cape Malawar, Greece

Cape Malawar, Greece

Extensively inscribed and dated 25. May 1863 4 P.M., numbered and inscribed on verso: 168/upright/next above lowest, pen and ink and watercolour

6.9 x 19.5 cm

Lear drew this on the steamer Europa which he boarded from the island of Cerigo (present day Kythera) at 12.30 pm on 25 May 1863, having left in bright sunshine and with a rolling sea ‘too much to be pleasant’. His journal suggests that he drew the present drawing either at dinner, or just before, as this is recorded as having been served at 4 pm.

See Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3, transcribed by Marco Graziani.

James Holland, OWS (British, 1799–1870)

The Ospedale Civile, Venice

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Signed with monogram and dated 24th. Octr. 57. l.r., watercolour over pencil

18.5 x 24.3 cm

This free sketch is a delightful example of Holland’s virtuosity. He first visited Venice in 1835 and was to return throughout the rest of his life, inspired by the beauty of the city, like so many other artists. He valued his own sketches greatly and once commented that parting with a sketch was like parting with a tooth; once sold it cannot be replaced (L. R. Valpy, Memoir of Samuel Palmer, 1881, p. 76).

The facade of the Scuola Grande di San Marco, one of the six great philanthropic confraternities of the Venetian Republic, is by Pietro Lombardo (1435–1515) and Giovanni Buora (1487–90?) and was finished by Mauro Codussi in 1495. The lion of San Marco can be seen in the middle of Holland’s composition. The building is situated next to Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the interior is now occupied by the civic hospital of Venice which stretches to the lagoon.

Provenance: Sir Henry Houldsworth, Bt; Leger Galleries Ltd, February 1962; Private collection, UK

English School, late 18th Century


A Kitchen

Watercolour heightened with gum arabic on card

8 x 12 cm

Augusta Raymond-Barker of Fairford Park, by family descent until 2016

Samuel Prout (British, 1783–1852)

The Coliseum, Rome, 1824



Pencil, inscribed

25.3 x 36 cm

Samuel Gillespie Prout, the artist’s son; Christie’s, 12 April 1880, lot 112 (12 guineas to the Fine Art Society)

Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London, 1879–80, no. 71

John Ruskin, Notes by Mr. Ruskin on Samuel Prout and William Hunt illustrated by a Loan Collection of Drawings (Ruskin, Works, ed. Cook & Wedderburn, 1904–12, Vol. XIV, pp. 396 and 399).

On page 399, Ruskin wrote, the drawing of the Coliseum at Rome, no. 71, has still higher claim to our consideration; in it were reserved, and in all points, rarer powers of expressing magnitude and solitude. It is so majestic in manner that it would quite have borne being set beside the photograph of Turner’s drawing at Farnley, had it been fair to match mere outline against a finished composition.

Thomas Shotter Boys, NWS (British, 1803–1874)

Brussels from outside the Porte de Hal with a view of Notre Dame de la Chapelle

Thomas Shotter Boys


Watercolour with bodycolour and scratching out, inscribed verso in pencil: Hors du port de Hal.

The distinctive tower of Notre Dame de la Chapelle, where Pieter Bruegel the Elder is buried, is seen on the right-hand side of the composition. It was built near the city walls in the twelfth century, although the remains today date from a century later. The nearby Porte de Hal is the only surviving fortified city gate of the walls of medieval Brussels. The two towers of Brussels cathedral balance the view to the left.

Boys made several visits to Belgium in the late 1820s and early 1830s and was in Brussels during the Belgian Revolution of 1830. His wife Célestine was Belgian, her home either in or near Soignies.

The artist’s virtuoso mastery of watercolour techniques is splendidly illustrated in the deft handling of the medium in this drawing.

Provenance: The artist’s sale; John Manning, 8 Bury Street; Thomas Agnew & Sons, London; Anthony Molins, his sale at Sotheby’s London, 24 November 1977; Private collection, UK

John Mayle Whichelo (British, 1784–1865)

A frigate going from St Helen’s to Spithead

John Mayle Whichelo

The Ridge

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Two, one signed and dated l.r.: Whichelo 1826 and signed, inscribed and dated verso:
A Frigate going from St Helens to Spithead./J. Whichelo 1826., pen and grey ink and grey wash on grey paper, the second with touches of white
One with cut corners 10.8 x 13 cm, the other 9 x 2.9 cm

Accompanied by copies of the drawings by Augusta Raymond-Barker. Augusta Raymond-Barker’s copies are very spirited renderings of the originals. Whichelo was marine and landscape painter to the Prince Regent by 1812.

Provenance: Augusta Raymond-Barker, Fairford Park, Gloucestershire; thence by family descent until 2016

Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (British, 1793–1864)

High Street, Colchester

High Street, Colchester

St Nicholas’s, Colchester, with an artist sketching

St Nicholas’s, Colchester, with an artist sketching

Two, each signed, one inscribed verso:

High St/Colchester/T. Shepherd, and signed verso,
both brown wash over traces of pencil, one with touches of white

8.1 x 12.3 cm and 7.9 x 12 cm

Saint Nicholas’s church formerly stood on Colchester’s High Street. The original church was twelfth century, and it was rebuilt in the fourteenth century and restored again between 1875 and 1876 to designs by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The church had the highest spire in Colchester. It was demolished in 1955 by the Church of England, who sold the site for commercial redevelopment.

Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, born in France on 16 January 1793, was probably the most talented member of the family of London topographers. Throughout his career, from 1809 to 1859, Shepherd was patronised by the celebrated interior designer Frederick Crace, who commissioned him to produce watercolours of London buildings and locations. The fame of the Crace Collection helped Shepherd’s career, resulting in further commissions, notably from Rudolph Ackermann for his magazine, The Repository of Arts. From around the time of the magazine’s foundation in 1809 until its demise in 1828, Shepherd produced a series of street views, sometimes in collaboration with his elder brother, George Sidney Shepherd.

Although Shepherd became virtually synonymous with the modern city, he was equally at home representing the countryside and made several sketching tours, the first in 1810.

Provenance: Augusta Raymond-Barker, of Fairford Park, Gloucestershire; thence by family descent until 2016

Newton Smith Limbird Fielding (British, 1799–1856)

Three dogs with a bone

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17.5 by 25.5 cm

Two of the dogs are terrier types (Irish terrier on the left, and black and tan on the right) and the white dog with brown spots is a pointer type.

Provenance: Augusta Raymond-Barker, Fairford Park, Gloucestershire; thence by family descent until 2016