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Walter Follen Bishop (1856-1936)
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Walter Follen Bishop (1856-1936)

In the Heart of the Forest

Walter Follen Bishop (1856-1936)
In the Heart of the Forest
signed 'W. Follen Bishop' (lower left)
pencil and watercolour with gum arabic and with scratching out
28¾ x 48½ in. (73 x 123.2 cm.)
in the original gilt-composition frame
London, Royal Academy, 1888, no. 1329.
Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, 1888, no. 918, illustrated.
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Lot Essay

Bishop was a Liverpool artist, though he also lived in both London and Jersey. Bishop worked in the strong tradition of Liverpool landscape painting, and like his contemporary J.T. Watts (1853-1930) he specialised in woodland scenes and must have been familiar with the writings of John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites. His fidelity to nature and attempts to revive a sense of realism in landscape painting bear testimony to his adherence to Ruskinian principles. He was fascinated by the play of light on leaves, bracken, lichen and rocks. He managed to combine meticulous detail with a sense of atmosphere.

He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1882-1902 works such as Where moorland and forest meet, 1884, no. 992, The last rays of sunlight on forest and moor, 1885, no. 1318 and The wood with morning sunlight crowned, 1890, no. 1319 and also at Suffolk Street. Follen must have commanded respect in Liverpool amongst his contemporaries, the present watercolour was on sale in the 1888 Liverpool exhibition at £75, a significantly high price for this date and the picture was also illustrated, an honour reserved for only a few. He married the painter and sculptress Florence Fitzgerald (fl.1887-1927) who also exhibited at the Royal Academy works entitled By the Meadow Brook and Where the Wild Flowers grow and at Suffolk Street.

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