• Victorian & British Impression auction at Christies

    Sale 7788

    Victorian & British Impressionist Pictures Including Drawings and Watercolours

    16 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 63

    Louise Rayner (1832-1924)

    Head of the West Bow, Edinburgh

    Price Realised  

    Louise Rayner (1832-1924)
    Head of the West Bow, Edinburgh
    signed 'Louise Rayner' (lower right)
    pencil and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour on paper
    11¾ x 8¾ in. (29.8 x 22.3 cm.)


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    This attractive four-storeyed house with its overhanging eaves was used by a number of nineteenth-century artists and photographers as the centrepiece of their depictions of the West Bow. The West Bow, a winding street leading uphill from the Grassmarket to the junction of Castle Hill and the Lawnmarket, was the only route of access to Edinburgh Castle from the south, until the building of the George IV Bridge in the early 19th Century.

    Louise Rayner travelled around Britain during most summers in the 1870s and 1880s, using her journeys as inspiration. She was well-known for detailed watercolours of street scenes, such as the present example, in which the quaintly old-fashioned architecture is enlivened by the presence of foreground figures going about their everyday tasks.

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