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«Julia Korner Fine art Trained­originally­as­an­art­historian,­sculptress­and­graphic­illustrator­at­Cambridge,­Julia Korner, l.S.i.a.D., ...»

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5. After Andrea del Sarto, thought to be a near contemporary version Charity – from Andrea del Sarto's (1486-c.1530) celebrated fresco cycle in the Chiostro dello Scalzo, Florence pen, brown ink and wash 8 x 4 ½ in. (20.3 x 11 cm.) Those looking for an art-filled, meditative spot without Florence's summer crowds should visit the Chiostro dello Scalzo, located near the church of San Marco. Within, there are 16 frescoes, 14 of which were created by one of the greatest exponents of the Florentine Mannerist period, Andrea del Sarto (1486-c.1530), known as 'the artist without errors.' Since the frescoes are almost at to eye-level, visitors can experience the mastery of an artist admired by Michelangelo and emulated by Pontormo. Del Sarto was also teacher to Giorgio Vasari, who later became his biographer, offering both lofty praise and scalding criticism. Though 'faultless', del Sarto lacked the 'fire of Divine Inspiration' that had characterized his Florentine predecessors, Vasari insisted, offering a series of personal vignettes that depict the artist's so-called lack of ambition and constant submission to his 'faithless' and 'vixenish' wife. (Interestingly, del Sarto's wife, Lucrezia del Fede, appeared as his muse in his paintings-often as a Madonna or a female virtue-and her portrait can be found in some of the Chiostro dello Scalzo frescoes.) Vasari aside, during del Sarto's short lifetime-the artist died at age 43 during an outbreak of the bubonic plague-he produced some of the most noteworthy examples of Florentine Mannerist art, and their elegance is considered matchless. His grey and brown grisaille fresco cycle series in the Chiostro dello Scalzo depicts the virtues Faith, Hope, Justice and Charity and the series depicting the Life of Saint John is truly a hidden gem. Del Sarto started with 'The Baptism of Christ' in 1513 and finished with 'The Birth of the Baptist' in 1526. His technique matured over the course of those years, especially his sculptural clarity, and the architectural setting of his frescoes set a new standard in monumental fresco painting. In general, del Sarto's works were unrivalled at this time owing to his use of colour and his talent for creating atmosphere. These grisaille frescoes, executed in creamy brown-grey shades, are particularly unusual for the modern viewer, recalling sepia-toned photographs.

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6. Jan Asselijn (circa 1616-1652) Porta del Popolo, Rome indistinctly dated lower left pen, pink and brown wash 11 x 17 in. (28 x 43 cm.) Jan Asselijn (1610-1652) came originally from a Huguenot family in Dieppe and moved to Amsterdam to receive training in the studio of Esaias van der Velde (1587-1630) and his nephew and pupil, Jan Maertzen de Jonge, famous not only for animal designs and landscapes but also for pictures of cavalry skirmishes. Asselijn left such scenes behind him when, in 1635, he made his way to Rome and, like many Northerners before him, became a convert to the Italianate style of landscape, of which his countryman, Claude Lorrain, had been the precursor. He settled into the Dutch colony there and bore the nickname ‘Crabbetje’. He stayed in Rome for at least a decade and was to be found once again in Amsterdam in 1647, having first found a French wife. A number of his Italian vedute, particularly of Roman ruins, were engraved subsequently by Gabriel Perelle.

Asselijn remains best known, however, for his Threatened Swan in the Rijksmuseum, interpreted as an allegory of Dutch resistance to foreign tyranny.

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7. Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808) Thomas Maynard Hesilrige (1741-1817), later Sir Thomas Hesilrige, Bart, pastel on blue paper 10 x 7 ¾ in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm.) inscribed on the old backing paper 'Thomas Maynard Esqr. / Hoxne Hall / Suffolk / October 1784' and on a label on the outer backing paper in the same hand 'Thomas Maynard Esqr. / Hoxne Hall / Suffolk / October 1784'

In 1765 Laurence Sterne wrote to Thomas Hesilrige, addressing his friend:

My dear dear Sir I made a thousand enquiries after you all this last winter...pray how do you do? And how do you go on, in this silly world?

He wrote to solicit subscriptions for the third and fourth volumes of A Sentimental Journey from Hesilrige’s relative and employer Lord Charles Maynard.

How Sterne and Hesilrige met is not clear, but Hesilrige’s family certainly moved in literary and theatrical circles. His mother Lady Hannah Hesilrige (nee Sturges) was the model for Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, published in 1740.

Thomas was the third son of Sir Arthur Hesilrige and would not have expected to succeed to any title or land but a series of family deaths resulted in his inheriting Hoxne Hall, Suffolk in 1775 and the baronetcy of Hesilrige in 1805. The first inheritance resulted from the death of Charles, sixth Baron Maynard in 1775. It was nine years after inheriting Hoxne from the Maynards that Hesilrige, who now took the name Maynard, sat for Hugh Douglas Hamilton in Italy. Thomas married twice, firstly in 1805 to Mary Tyriel (d. 1809) and secondly in 1811 to the Hon. Letitia Wodehouse.

The portrait carries two original labels which indicate that it was executed in October 1784. At that date Hugh Douglas Hamilton was in Florence. Thomas Maynard Hesilrige and his wife are known to have been in Pisa in February 1785 and before that they were in Rome, and presumably in Florence. The duration of the Maynards’s stay in Italy is not known, but several other members of the Maynard and Hesilrige families spent considerable periods in Italy. Thomas’s father Sir Arthur Hesilrige was in Rome, Venice, Florence and Padua in 1723-4, immediately before his marriage, and Charles, second Viscount Maynard (1752-1824) was in Italy from 1777-80 and in the 1790’s with his wife, the actress Nancy Parsons. Thomas’s father sat for Francesco Trevisani in Rome in 1723 and was drawn by P. L Ghezzi in 1724; he and Lady Hannah sat for Philip Mercier in 1738.

Thomas Maynard Hesilrige seems to have acquired from his parents an interest in the arts and architecture as well as literature. When in Rome in 1784 (the year that he sat for Hugh Douglas Hamilton), he recommended the young architect Willey Reveley (1760-1799) to Sir Richard Worsley, whose somewhat eccentric marital affairs were the subject of Hallie Rubenhold’s excellent biography ‘The Lady in Red’, published in 2008.

20 Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808) was born in Dublin in 1740, the son of a wig-maker. Little is known of his very early life but he achieved first prize in the 1755 competition of Dublin Society’s drawing school and it may be here that he met his future patrons, the La Touche banking family (whose descendant, Rose, Ruskin was to pursue unsuccessfully and at the cost of temporary insanity). Hamilton received a number of commissions, mainly oval pastel portraits, and he carried his skills and charms to London in 1764. London society proved open to both and he appears to have lived well, with Royal patronage, and exhibited often at the Society of Artists and the Free Society of Artists. In 1779 he travelled to Italy, where he resided for the next twelve years, sometimes in Florence and, more often, in Rome where, heeding John Flaxman’s advice, he turned his hand to portraits in oil. He became friends with Henry Tresham and Antonio Canova, whose double portrait in Canova’s studio by Hamilton now resides at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He painted also a rather aged Bonnie Prince Charlie, in exile in Rome, before returning to Dublin in 1792. There he continued to attract commissions, executed both in oil and in pastels, until his death in 1808.

7 21 8a. John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749-1831) Lake Como, Italy signed with monogram lower left and inscribed verso: ‘Como’ pencil and watercolour on laid paper 12 ½ x 18 in. (31.1 x 45.4 cm.) John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749-1831) was born near Carlisle, the son of the Gilpin family’s gardener. This connection led him to study with Sawrey Gilpin, the renowned animal painter. Like so many of his, and the following, generation he attracted attention as a skilful topographical draughtsman and engraver and secured thus the patronage of George Greville, Earl of Warwick. Warwick provided Smith with the wherewithal to travel to Italy where he stayed between 1776 and 1781. In Italy he met other British artists, such as Francis Towne and Thomas Hearne and these friendships seem to have brought about changes to his style, with a greater emphasis on colour and line than hitherto.

He engraved his own work, most notably in ‘Select Views in Italy’ (1792-6) and ‘Views of the Lakes of Cumberland’ (1791-5). He was one of the early members of the Old Watercolour Society who, according to Edwin Landseer’s father, John, “first discovered and taught the junior artists the rationale of tempering their positive colours with the neutral grey formed by the mixture of red, blue and yellow..”. Smith was a major contributor to the Society’s exhibitions between 1807 and 1823 and served, at various times, both as President and Treasurer, before his resignation in 1823, eight years before his death.

22 8a 23 8b. John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749-1831) Classical figures with the Gulf of Salerno beyond pencil and watercolour on laid paper 11 ¾ x 17 ½ in. (29.8 x 43.6 cm.) See No. 8a for the biography of John ‘Warwick’ Smith.

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9. John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749-1831) Lazy days on the Venetian Lagoon pencil and watercolour 4 ¼ x 7 in. (10.8 x 17.8 cm.) a pair (2) See No. 8a for the biography of John ‘Warwick’ Smith.

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10. John Thomas Serres (1759-1825) ‘Napolitano’, – and Fisherman on the beach, verso inscribed by the artist, as title and ‘Cittadina di Roma’ signed, inscribed and dated ‘1791’ pen, brush and ink 11 x 6 ½ in. (28 x 16.5 cm.) John Thomas Serres (1759-1825) was the eldest son of the Gascon marine painter, Dominic Serres, RA. Like his father, he made his name as a marine painter, with his maritime works accepted by the Royal Academy for the first time in 1776. His ambitions, as well as curiosity, took him to Italy in 1790, not the best of years to travel via France. His father’s connections, as a founder member of the Royal Academy, secured him letters of introduction to Lady Knight (wife of the future governor of Gibraltar), and Consul John Udney in Leghorn, once Joseph ‘Consul ‘ Smith’s junior partner. He travelled extensively, both by road and by sea, happy to record scenes, on land and sea, as well as of ‘friendly natives’, and completed a number of sketches as well as some more highly finished works which bear his signature. The impact of his travels was demonstrated by his exhibiting a series of Italian scenes in 1792 and 1793 at the Royal Academy. Furthermore his ambitions were realised shortly afterwards when, following his father’s death, he succeeded to the position of Marine Painter to the King, having been appointed previously Master of Drawing at the Royal Naval College. Alas, his promising career was blighted by his wife’s strange insistence that she was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Cumberland which led to Serres’ gradual loss of patronage and, ultimately, to death in a debtors’ prison.

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11. James Duffield Harding, O.W.S. (1797-1863) Castellammare, with Vesuvius and Naples beyond, Italy pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour and with scratching out 8 x 11 ½ in. (20.7 x 29.2 cm.)


J.C. Verrall for Thomas Roscoe’s The Landscape Annual for 1833: The Tourist in Italy – illustrated from Drawings by J. D.

Harding, published by Jennings and Chaplin, London, 1833.

James Duffield Harding (1797-1863) was born at Deptford, the son of a drawing master who had himself been a pupil of Paul Sandby. Harding studied with his father before receiving lessons from Samuel Prout. His apparent lack of imagination as well as his temporary inability to sketch foliage realistically, led him to be apprenticed to John Pye, an engraver. Such employment was short-lived but the benefit of the training never left Harding. By 1811, Harding, at 13 years’ old, was proficient enough at landscape drawing to be have his work exhibited at the Royal Academy. In the early 1820s he turned his hand successfully to lithography, a technique applied to his own, and others’, drawings, including those of R.P. Bonington. He became an Associate of the Old Watercolour Society in 1820, a Member in 1821 and, with an ambition to become a Royal Academician, resigned in 1846.

His failure to secure election led him to rejoin the OWS in 1856. Harding was dedicated to teaching and was a pioneer in the movement for art instruction in schools and for the training of art masters. John Ruskin was amongst his pupils and he accompanied Ruskin across the Alps and to Venice in 1845. Harding, by then, was quite familiar with Italy, having visited the country for the first time in 1824, and having made regular trips thereafter. Ruskin in later life was critical of Harding’s technique which he found inferior to that of Turner but there is no doubt that Ruskin’s own drawings reflect the beneficial elements of Duffield’s instruction, observation and composition. After Harding’s death, Christie’s disposed of his studio works in two sales, one in May, 1864, the other in May, 1865.

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12. William Callow, R.W.S. (1812-1908) The Arc de Triomphe, d’Aosta signed ‘W Callow and inscribed ‘Arc de Triomphe/Aosta aout. 20.38.’ watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of white on grey paper 14 x 9 ¾ in. (36 x 25 cm.) William Callow (1812-1908) entered, at the precocious age of 11, the studio of Theodore Fielding, the eldest of the artisticallytalented family which included Copley Fielding, Thales and Newton Fielding in whose studios Callow was later to find work.

Callow was trained in the arts of engraving, colouring and drawing and such skills saw him sent in 1829 to Paris to assist the Swiss artist, Osterwald, then preparing a tome of engravings of Swiss scenery. Callow shared a studio with Thomas Shotter Boys, who had studied with Bonington and their influence on his early style is transparent. Good fortune seems to have attended Callow’s career. He won prizes at the French Salons, became drawing master to members of the French royal family and, rare for one living abroad, became an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1838 and full member in 1848.

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