121
121
George Price Boyce
THE OLD BARN AT WHITCHURCH
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 31,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
121
George Price Boyce
THE OLD BARN AT WHITCHURCH
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 31,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Green and Pleasant Land: Two Centuries of British Landscape Painting

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London

George Price Boyce
1826 - 1897
THE OLD BARN AT WHITCHURCH
signed and dated l.r.: G. P. Boyce. Aug 63
pencil and watercolour with scratching out
31 by 56cm., 12¼ by 22in.
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Provenance

Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, Darlington Hall, by 1866, thence to Sir Maurice Bell by 1941;
Christie's, London, 4 November 1999, lot 22

Exhibited

London, Old Watercolour Society, 1864, no.299;
London, Royal Academy, 32nd Winter Exhibition of Artists Deceased since 1850, 1901, no.120

Literature

Athenaeum, 30 April 1864, p.618;
A.E. Street (editor), 'Extracts from George Price Boyce's Diaries, 1851-1875', Old Water-Colour Society's Club, vol.XIX, 1941, illustrated pl.VI;
Christopher Newall and Judy Egerton, George Price Boyce, exhibition catalogue for The Tate Gallery, 1987, p.55;
Pre-Raphaelite Vision - Truth to Nature, exhibition catalogue for The Tate Gallery, 2004, p.91

Catalogue Note

This is the larger of two versions of the composition, the smaller (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) probably a sketch for this picture in which Boyce substituted a labourer climbing up to a hay-loft in place of a horse and cart. The scene was described by the artist George Dunlop Leslie, who accompanied Boyce on a sketching trip in late summer 1863 when the two artists painted along the Thames at Pangbourne and Whitchurch: 'a large old barn half-way up the hill at Whitchurch, a lot of black Berkshire pigs snoozing in the straw in the fore-ground.' (George Dunlop Leslie, Our River, 1888, pp.10-11)

In 1864, this version of The Old Barn at Whitchurch became Boyce's first exhibit as a member of the Old Watercolour Society, where it was described as an example of Boyce: '... making a common thing show grandly and gravely; few pictures could look more so than the Old Barn at Whitchurch, which has admirable colour in' (Athenaeum, 30 April 1864, p.618). When the Ashmolean version was exhibited at the same venue a year later the same writer, Frederic George Stephens, wrote: 'Mr Boyce deserves one of the highest places as a painter of landscapes. He has the art to give not only absolute truth of aspect to studies of commonplace themes, but a grandeur which elevates them to the poetical class of Art. It is because this painter is so faithful that he is so fortunate. No commonplace painter of Old Barn at Whitchurch could have invested the barn and farmyard, its litter and its sleek, sable occupants, with so much of the dignity of a magnificent building, nor could such a one have given to stable-litter and black pigs the charm of admirable colour. This study is a masterpiece.' 

A Green and Pleasant Land: Two Centuries of British Landscape Painting

|
London