REV WILLIAM HENRY BARNARD (Co. Donegal 1767 – 1818 Stowe)
” View of Geneva from Petit-Saconnex”
Inscribed verso “Geneve – Le Petit Saconet” [sic] and dated “May 19 1815”
Brown watercolour wash on paper
Image measures 20 x 28 cms
Frame measures 36.3 x 44.5 cm
This wonderful grand tour watercolour depicts the countryside around Lake Geneva with buildings grouped around the towers of St. Pierre Cathedral in the middle-distance, the Salève mountains in the Jura range beyond and the distinctive profile of Mont-Blanc (to the left hand side of the painting).
Rev William Henry Barnard was an extremely well-connected artist and clergyman -being first cousin of Prime Minister George Canning, grandson of William Barnard, Bishop of Derry, and nephew of Thomas Barnard, Dean of Derry and Bishop of Limerick. He graduated from Pembroke College, Oxford in 1797. During his time at university he studied drawing with John Baptist Malchair (1731 – 1812) and produced numerous drawings and watercolours, often depicting humble Oxford street scenes using a black monochrome wash. He became rector of Marsh Gibbon and Water Stratford in Buckinghamshire. He visited Wales in 1793 and 1795, and travelled on the continent in 1803-4, and again between 1815- 1818. He died in 1818, at Stowe.
He is represented in a number of important collections. TATE acquired twelve of his paintings, mostly rural landscapes, in 1996. A drawing by Barnard of Windsor Castle was purchased for the Royal Collection in 1947. The British Museum holds a watercolour entitled “Geneva from Mr Hentsch's at Secheron” (see BM 1977,1105.8) which was painted on exactly the same day as the watercolour on offer here.
With Sabin Galleries Ltd, Cork St, London 1975
Private Collection UK