7 - 8 April 2004
HOWITT, Samuel (c.1765-1822) attributed to. A collection of original watercolour and wash drawings of natural history subjects, [England: 1790-1814].
36 original watercolour or wash drawings (320 x 240mm. and smaller), on wove paper or thin card, one signed 'Howitt', most annotated with the names of the specimens depicted, a number drawn from life with the date and place where the drawing was made also noted, most tipped onto laid paper backing sheets. Unbound, contained within a late-19th-century cloth and board portfolio.
All the drawings appear to be by a single hand, and the one signed drawing (of a Cobra) allied with annotations in a single hand suggest that 'Howitt' is the artist of all the drawings. The signature is consistant with that found on other drawings known to be by Samuel Howitt. Howitt, the brother-in-law of Thomas Rowlandson, is best known for his oils and watercolours of sporting subjects, but the Natural History Museum do hold a number of his natural history drawings, both in London and at Tring. The present collection includes 8 drawings of members of the shark and dogfish family (1 watercolour, 7 wash drawings); 9 drawings of snakes (3 watercolours, 4 wash drawings); 5 wash drawings of members of the whale and dolphin family; 2 watercolours of crocodiles and 12 watercolours of marine invertebrates. (36)
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