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William HAVELL (Reading 1782-1857 Kensington)
“A study of clouds and hills", circa 1807/08
Watercolour and bodycolour
On blue paper
10.2 cm x 26.9 cm
Private Collection UK
An early work, dated to around 1807/08, which almost certainly originates from the artist's trip to the Lake District, where Havell spent over a year in a cottage at Ambleside. This evocative study of clouds and landscape is executed with grey wash with white bodycolour highlights on mid-tone blue paper.
Havell was one of the founder members of the Water-Colour Society in 1804. He was a devoted admirer of the works of Turner and Girtin, particularly the way in which these artists captured light. Havell tried to follow their example in his own watercolours. Martin Hardie talks of Havell's "outstanding skill in expressing the play of sunlight and the effect of atmosphere on distant hills".1
See TATE T08172 for a sketch by the artist of Grange Bridge, Cumberland on similar paper.
1. See p. 130, Martin Hardie, Water-Colour Painting in Britain, Volume II, The Romantic Period, Batsford Ltd, London, 1967