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.


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Sleep thinkers at winter edition of London Art Week

30 November 2020

A marble relief, 'Sleep' by French sculptor and doll-maker Albert Marque (1872-1947), is among the highlights on offer at this winter’s edition of London Art Week (LAW).

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Bewitched by the mystic arts: New York drawings dealer hosts show of Occult pictures

30 November 2020

New York exhibition orginally for Halloween seems to suit the crazy year as a whole

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Ornithological watercolour ordered by brother of Louis XIII is highest Parker Fine Art saleroom price so far

23 November 2020

The highest price to date at Parker Fine Art Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) came at its latest Fine Paintings sale when a rare ornithological watercolour caught the eye of a number of bidders, including from abroad.

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Paper view: 30 previews of books, prints, posters, ephemera and documents available at dealers and auctions

16 November 2020

The term ‘works on paper’ encompasses a diverse range of media from artist’s prints to posters, ephemera and documents. Pictured here, along with an array of books, is a section of items available to buy from dealers or bid for at auction.

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Miniature depicting key figure in colonial Australia draws demand at Lawrences of Bletchingley

16 November 2020

This 4 x 3in (10 x 8cm) oil on ivory miniature, offered by Lawrences (20% buyer’s premium) of Bletchingley, is attributed to the English miniature painter William Mineard Bennett (1778-1858).

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Squirrell catches the eye in Essex and Cambridge auctions

02 November 2020

Leonard Squirrell (1893-1979) is most associated with East Anglia, producing a significant body of rural scenes of Suffolk and Norfolk as well as cityscapes of Norwich and Ipswich.

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5 Questions: Specialist watercolour and drawings dealer Derek Newman

02 November 2020

Derek Newman is a specialist dealer in 18th-20th century watercolours and drawings. His annual exhibition of 18th-20th century British watercolours runs from November 12-15.

Miniature of Vice Admiral John Hunter

Portrait miniature, Lalique jewellery and Chelsea dish – five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

30 October 2020

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a rare portrait miniature of an Australian governor and a Lalique jewellery suite formerly belonging to a ‘scandalous’ Edwardian socialite.

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Albert Wainwright works highlight Stourbridge sale

26 October 2020

The Decades of Design sale at Fieldings (24% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Stourbridge on October 15-16 included 52 works from the family of Albert Wainwright (1898-1943). He was a Castleford artist who trained at the Leeds School of Art in 1914.

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Female artists under London Art Week spotlight

19 October 2020

This month, London Art Week (LAW) uses the digital platform it launched over the summer to run Art History in Focus. The event combines online discourse with exhibitions and objects on offer in galleries (and on gallery websites), putting the spotlight on two major themes: women artists and framing.

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Arader’s perfect score

05 October 2020

The October 10 auction at New York’s Arader Galleries includes the collection of the surgeon Dr Seymour Schwartz (2020) – a map collector Graham Arader considered something of a mentor.

'A Very Gallant Gentleman' by John Charles Dollman

Sketch of Captain Oates walking to his death makes £23,000 in Essex

29 September 2020

A sketch for the painting ‘A Very Gallant Gentleman’ by John Charles Dollman (1851-1934) sold for £23,000 at Sworders last week.

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Coincidence reunites Messel brothers after 99 years as watercolour portraits emerge at two separate auctions

28 September 2020

Separated for many years, portraits of two brothers by WBE Ranken (1881-1941) came up at auction at different London salerooms last week. The fact that they emerged on the market simultaneously was seemingly pure coincidence.

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Bawden’s decimal coin design makes a Mint

28 September 2020

Edward Bawden (1903-89) was one of a number of artists invited to submit designs ahead of Britain’s changeover to decimal coinage. Designs were invited for six coins: the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p pieces.

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Six Ruskins add pep to Peppiatt’s latest show

28 September 2020

A group of works by famed Victorian art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) features in Guy Peppiatt’s latest exhibition of British drawings and watercolours.

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Hooray for the hussars: Duke of Gloucester's regimental collection brings demand

14 September 2020

The collection of pictures formerly owned by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, offered at Bellmans included 42 lots relating to the 10th Royal Hussars.

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Major general sought after by militaria fans

07 September 2020

A group of three watercolours depicting Indian scenes attributed to Major General John Brownrigg Ballasis (1806-90) attracted interest at a timed sale held this summer by 1818 Auctioneers (20% buyer’s premium) in Milnthorpe, Cumbria.

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Himalayan raja rises to £4600 when reoffered

07 September 2020

An intriguing Indian miniature portrait drew strenuous competition against an estimate of just £30-50 at Clarke’s (18% buyer’s premium) in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

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Indian miniatures expand appeal as demand grows on the subcontinent

07 September 2020

Indian miniatures are a common sight at UK auctions. With a keen, dedicated and often very knowledgeable collecting base, they remain a somewhat independent but active sub-set of the art market.

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Thorburns break from country house cover

10 August 2020

The contents of a country house in Exmouth turned up not one but two large watercolours by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935), the pre-eminent British painter of ornithological subjects.

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