138
138
Attributed to Henry Peacham
LANDSCAPE WITH HARVESTERS RETURNING HOME
JUMP TO LOT
138
Attributed to Henry Peacham
LANDSCAPE WITH HARVESTERS RETURNING HOME
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London

Attributed to Henry Peacham
NORTH MIMMS, HERTFORDSHIRE 1578 - 1644 LONDON ?
LANDSCAPE WITH HARVESTERS RETURNING HOME

Provenance

Herbert Horne (1864-1916);
Sir Edward Howard Marsh, KCVO CB CMG (1872–1953);
Leonard Gordon Duke, C.B.E. (1890-1971);
his sale, London, Sotheby's, 24 June 1971, lot 57, bt. H. Schwab,
where acquired by Bernadette and William M.B. Berger, Denver, Colorado

Catalogue Note

The present work is an extremely early portrayal of English rural life. Judging from the details of the figure’s clothes, the sheet has been dated to the first quarter of the 17th century. Almost no drawings of this nature have survived from this period and it would appear to have been drawn a generation before Francis Barlow (c. 1625-1704), who is understood to be among the earliest British artists to have drawn such scenes. Traditionally, the landscape has been attributed, in full, to the writer and draughtsman, Henry Peacham, who illustrated a number of ‘Emblem Books’ for King James I and members of his court. Three of these books survive today; two in the British Library, London and a third at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

This drawing belonged successively to three of the most distinguished collectors of British drawings, spanning what now seems a golden age of connoisseurship. Herbert Horne was originally an architect and designer. However, he soon began to concentrate on writing about literature and on art history, as well as starting to collect and to deal in art. In the 1890s Horne began to collect English drawings and watercolours, concentrating especially on Alexander Cozens, who was then practically unknown. Commissioned to write a book on Botticelli (published in 1908, and still a standard monograph), Horne began to spend most of his time in Italy, where he bought and restored the Palazzo Corsi in Florence – now the Museo Horne – and died there in 1916. In order to finance his initial years in Florence, he decided to sell the collections he had formed in England, and in 1904 Robert Ross (Oscar Wilde’s close friend and executor) arranged the sale of his English works on paper to Sir Edward ‘Eddie’ Marsh. 

Sir Edward Marsh was a distinguished civil servant and patron of the arts. He began to collect English drawings and watercolours in the mid 1890s, soon forming a remarkable group. The acquisition of Horne’s collection in 1904 made him a major collector. In later years, his taste broadened to champion the work of contemporary British artists, including Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer, John and Paul Nash and Duncan Grant. As a civil servant, he had a particularly close relationship with the young Churchill, whom he served as Private Secretary for over twenty years.  

Leonard Gordon Duke was born in India but educated in England. From the mid 1920s until the late 1960s, he amassed a comprehensive collection of British watercolours and drawings that, at its height, numbered 'between three and four thousand drawings.'1 We are grateful to Lindsay Stainton for her help when cataloguing this lot.

1. J. Edgerton, ‘L.G. Duke and his Collection of English Drawings’, The Old Water-Colour Society’s Club, London 1974, p. 11

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London