Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (British, 1793–1864)
High Street, Colchester
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