Watercolours

A painting method that employs pigment suspended in a water-based solution, usually applied onto paper.

Though its earliest origins are thought to be prehistoric, its history is usually dated from the Renaissance, when it was used by artists such as Albrecht Durer.

While it may be used as for the creation of preparatory studies, it is also an art form in its own right, and is a technique used for botanical illustration, wildlife illustration and topographical painting as well as traditional genres, particularly landscape.


A view of Port Adelaide, South Australia

Pick of the week: Gill depicts early days of Port Adelaide

25 April 2022

An early view of Port Adelaide in Australia drew a flurry of overseas interest when it appeared at a recent auction in Massachusetts.

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Museums target Cook discoveries at Sloane Street Auctions

18 April 2022

A previously unrecorded family archive relating to Richard Grindall (1751-1820), an able seaman aboard Cook’s Second Voyage, surfaced for sale in London last week with spectacular results.

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Capturing ‘the sentiments of a recovering nation’

18 April 2022

The original watercolour draught for Sydney Harbour Bridge that featured on the front page of ATG No 2538 was bought by the Australian National Maritime Museum, it has been revealed.

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Peppiatt brings together Downman and Romney

18 April 2022

In his next exhibition London dealer Guy Peppiatt focuses on the drawings of John Downman (1750-1824) and George Romney (1734-1802), two contemporaneous British artists who at first glance seem very different.

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Artist Sarah Biffin in double spotlight

04 April 2022

Self-portrait sold to National Portrait Gallery by dealer who also plans an exhibition

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Pick of the week: First look at Sydney Harbour Bridge

04 April 2022

Cyril Arthur Farey (1888-1954) was one of the most renowned British architectural draughtsmen of the 20th century.

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Bidder’s Tomkin search brings a result

04 April 2022

The Kent artist William Stephen Tomkin (1861-1940) is best known as a proficient watercolour painter of marine subjects and a draughtsman who worked for General August Pitt Rivers (of Oxford museum fame) between 1882-90.

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Fairbanks collection: McEwen prices bloom and Betts sits comfortably in the market

28 March 2022

Two works formerly owned by American actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr (1909-2000) drew dramatic competition at a dedicated sale of his collection.

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Firm foundation for Sarah Stone

28 March 2022

Group of 18 lots sets a new level of demand and prices as recent trends drive strong interest

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Nash brothers go for beauty

21 March 2022

After producing some of the most famous images of the Second World War, Paul Nash (1889-1946) began to focus on more pleasant landscapes.

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Melling’s view of Constantinople offered in French sale

21 March 2022

This early 19th century watercolour drawing of Constantinople seen from the heights of Eyoub will be one of the attractions in a sale of furniture and works of art at Ivoire Troyes in the city on March 26.

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Stefanelli: from war to abstract

21 February 2022

A collection of 20 watercolours and drawings by American artist Joe Stefanelli (1921-2017) formed an intriguing part of Ewbank’s Modern picture sale.

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Husain works purchased direct

14 February 2022

Two signed watercolours by the Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011) will be on sale at Bruneau & Co of Cranston, Rhode Island, on February 21.

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ATG letter: More thoughts on William Wood

14 February 2022

I refer to the letter from Stephen Ferder printed in ATG No 2529 on the puzzle of the ‘two’ miniatures by William Wood (sold at auction on January 6 and reviewed in ATG No 2527).

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Macaw blimey: a Sarah Stone collection for sale

31 January 2022

Mallams is selling a collection of around 30 watercolours by the British natural history illustrator and painter, Sarah Stone (c.1760-1844).

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Dealer labels mark a sign of approval

24 January 2022

Francis Towne watercolour was one of his many works to have gone through Agnews

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A Rackham wonderland at Sotheby's online auction

24 January 2022

Offered at Sotheby’s (26/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) in an online sale that ran until December 1 under the title of The Fantasy World of Arthur Rackham was a collection of 31 original ink and watercolour artworks by the artist from the collection of American photographer Shirley Carter Burden (1908-89).

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Distinctive William Wood miniatures emerge in Buckinghamshire sale

24 January 2022

Estimated at just £60-100, a pair of Georgian portrait miniatures sold online for £2900 at Amersham Auctions (17.5% buyer’s premium) on January 6.

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Ruskin’s Venice by Moonlight sparkles on Scarborough sale day

17 January 2022

Grand Canal sketch has provenance to artist’s student who became a renowned collector

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Manet keeps it simple

10 January 2022

Edouard Manet’s (1832-83) small-scale works have always enjoyed a keen following alongside his larger more finished paintings.

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