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However, this c.1820 watercolour left, by H.J. Richter (1772-1857) entitled School in Uproar which came up for sale at the Putney auctioneers Lloyds (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on March 24, did have the added interest of being the original drawing for an extremely popular colour engraving, published in 1822.

Privately entered and in unrestored condition, albeit laid down on board, the 18 by 231/2in (46 x 60cm) watercolour is hardly in tune with contemporary ideas of how to keep
discipline in class, but its skilfully rendered anecdotal details appealed to an Irish buyer, believed to be from the trade, at £5900, just below the upper estimate.

A pupil of Thomas Stothard, Richter was a London artist who specialised in literary-inspired genre subjects and whose colouring, if not his take on education, is said to have
influenced William Blake.