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    Sale 7435

    British Works on Paper

    21 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 89

    George Wolfe (1834-1890)

    The coast near Land's End, Cornwall

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    George Wolfe (1834-1890)
    The coast near Land's End, Cornwall
    signed and dated 'Geo. Wolfe. 61.' (lower right)
    pencil and watercolour with gum arabic, heightened with touches of bodycolour
    16 5/8 x 28 in. (42.2 x 71.1 cm.)


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    The present watercolour is an ambitious scheme by Wolfe, who has selected a dramatic cliffside viewpoint pitching down to the landscape beyond. Wolf was connected to the Bristol School, sharing a studio with Samuel Jackson in Clifton for a time. His oeuvre consists largely of seascapes from around Devon and Cornwall in watercolour and oil. He was fascinated by the atmospheric effects of light on the land and sea. Through the use of sophisticated techniques, Wolfe is utterly convincing in his depiction of light and the present work must surely be one of his finest schemes.

    The bright colours and the detail with which Wolfe records the minutiae of this landscape is reminiscent of a group of watercolours executed by William Holman Hunt, a contemporary of Wolfe and a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, executed around the Cornish coast on a walking holiday a year earlier in 1860, (see Christie's, London, 24 November 2004, lot 1 for Holman Hunt's view of Asparagus Island, Kynance, Cornwall). In his publication Modern Painters,II of 1846 John Ruskin set out his thoughts on the ideals of painting that would inspire the Pre-Raphaelites, encouraging them towards a more profound understanding of nature through close observation 'landscape artists should go to nature... rejecting nothing, selecting nothing and scorning nothing.'

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    Provenance

    with The Maas Gallery, London.