George Richmond, RA (British, 1809–1896)
A farm near the sea at Margate, Kent
Richmond continued to draw and paint landscapes throughout his successful career as a portraitist. These works remained private and stayed mainly in his family. This charming unfinished sketch has a directness which reflects his enjoyment of the opportunity for contemplation when drawing from nature.
Richmond travelled to Margate at the end of August 1850 to join his wife Julia and their children and his friend the artist Charles West Cope and his family.1 Julia had given birth to a daughter, Margaret, on 3 July, but the baby died of whooping cough on 10 October.
Another watercolour, A Field near Margate, in the Oppé collection (Tate, T08272), has a red cottage with a red-tiled roof in the distance, which may be the farm in the present watercolour. A further, similar landscape of the same size (sold at Sotheby’s, 29 November 1975, lot 20) and also drawn on 2 October suggests Richmond must have enjoyed working outdoors that day.
1. Raymond Lister, George Richmond: A Critical Biography, 1981, p. 76.
Signed and inscribed l.r.: Geo. Richmond./Margate. Oct 2d. 1850, watercolour over pencil with touches of gum arabic
18 x 26.2 cm; 7 x 10¼ inches
Provenance: A. C. Richmond; A. W. Richmond, by family descent from the artist until 2018.