WILLIAM WARD | Arth, on the Lake of Zug, Switzerland (Early Morning), after Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A.
1829 - 1908
Arth, on the Lake of Zug, Switzerland (Early Morning), after Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A.
watercolour over traces of pencil, heightened with pen and ink and stopping out
25.8 by 32.5cm.,10¼ by 12¾in.
framed: 45.5 by 51.5cm., 18 by 20½in.
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The pigments have remained largely well preserved in this watercolour. There are scattered foxmarks throughout the sheet, but it is the opinion of the depatment that these can be removed if the work under went conservation. The sheet is not laid down.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
William Abercrombie (1838-1908)
Diana Mervin, née Whalley (1912-1990; by descent from the above)
A gift from the above to the mother of the present owner, circa 1960
William Ward worked closely with John Ruskin from the mid-1850s through to Ruskin’s death in 1900. He was a most talented protégé and - encouraged by Ruskin - he made copies after the watercolours of Joseph Mallord William Turner, while Ruskin himself catalogued the contents of Turner’s studio – a body of work that became known as the Turner Bequest.
Turner’s view of village of Arth was painted as a 'sample-study', from which he developed a 'finished' drawing for the important Scottish collector Hugh Monro of Novar (1797-1864). The study is now held at Tate, Britain, while Monro's watercolour is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Both this and the following lot share a long and distinguished provenance. Neither work has been on the market since the circa 1881, when they were acquired directly from the artist by William Abercrombie (1838-1908). Like T.C Horsfall (see the previous lot) Abercrombie lived near Manchester and maintained a great enthusiasm for Ruskin and his circle.
On the back of the frame of this work, there is a note, which it has been suggested was written by Abercrombie. The text is taken from volume XIII, page 202 of The Complete works of John Ruskin and reads: ‘We sleep at Arth, and are up, and out on the lake, early in the morning; to good purpose. The sun rises behind the Mythens, and we see such an effect of lake and light, as we shall not forget soon. Elaborate and lovely. Realised for Mr. Munro in 1843.’
We are very grateful to Professor Stephen Wildman for his help when cataloguing this work.