Fanny Blake (1804-1879)
A rainbow over Patterdale Churchyard, Cumbria
Signed and dated l.r.: F. Blake 1849, inscribed on original mount in pencil: And on the darkest clouds of woe/he sets his covenanted bow/Patterdale, inscribed on original backboard in ink: Patterdale Churchyard by F. Blake and Blake 3665, watercolour over traces of pencil with scratching out, a Vokins framing stamp on the backboard, a label inscribed Drawing Room attached to the backboard
By descent in the Blake family to Major-General Mark Bond, OBE (1922-2017), Moigne Combe, Dorset;
By family descent at Moigne Combe until 2019
Fanny (Frances) Blake was the sister of Frederick Rudolph Blake of Welwyn, Hertfordshire, the great-grandfather of H.M.G. Bond and E.M.G. Williams.
She was an extremely talented pupil of Peter de Wint and is singled out for special mention in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ of 1851, in a review of an exhibition of the work of amateur watercolorists as an ‘accomplished artist, admirable for truth, completeness and delicacy’.
This watercolour is a record of the previous church of St Patrick at Patterdale which dated from the 14th century and was extensively rebuilt around 1620, known to Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey and Turner. A new church was built at Patterdale by Salvin in the early 1850s after a storm destroyed the building depicted here. The ancient yew tree in this work, thought to have dated back to the Norman Conquest, was destroyed in a storm in 1883.