Great Britain: Original Watercolor, [c.1880-1900]. Archivally Framed. Fine original watercolor on rag paper. (25.4 x 17.7 cm). Matted in Rag. Framed in 19th C. gilt beaded moulding. Condition: Fine, with minor aged paper remains to verso corners from previous mount watermarked 1902.
Pathos notwithstanding and made all the more alluring by want of attribution, this vivid watercolor scene (a flight of feeding and nesting Cliff Swallows) was envisioned and thus executed not by a professional artist, field naturalist or explorer but by an amateur, or armchair, traveler/naturalist /painter. The drama evident yet depiction gentle, this watercolor quite plausibly was painted by a young Victorian gentlewoman who would have learned the art of nature painting, as was the custom, and who would have sought inspiration from the grand natural history color plate volumes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This bold and vivid naturalists' display of a tapestry of dappled foliage or the crystalline translucence of disturbed water or the splendid reticulated plumage is clearly stylized by a primitive eye, yet executed with an accomplished and refined hand; the technique is learned. The resulting composition is one of dramatic charm. Fine. Item #5667