Art/ Collection/ Art Object

St. Ives Bridge, St. Ives, Huntingdonshire

William Fraser Garden (British, Chatham 1856–1921 Huntingdon (?))
Watercolor, pen and gray ink, and touches of gouache over graphite on paper
14 x 18 in. (35.5 x 45.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Guy Wildenstein Gift, 2000
Accession Number:
Not on view
Born Garden William Fraser, the watercolorist changed his last name to Garden to distinguish himself from other family members who were also artists. The most talented of the group, he worked in relative obscurity in his Fenland home in Huntingdonshire, painting nearby villages. This work ranks as a compelling example of the late nineteenth-century revival of meticulous realism. Dramatic clouds in a luminous sky draw attention to a fifteenth-century chapel built into a medieval bridge that spans the river Ouse. The bluish stone of the lower story identifies the original structure—it is one of only three British chapels from that period to survive, and the upper stories are later additions in a warmer-colored stone. A breathless calm allowed the artist to mirror stonework and shrubbery in the river with near photographic clarity, and the conspicuous absence of a human figure in the townscape creates an atmosphere of surreal calm.
Signature: Signed and dated in wash with the point of brush at the lower left: W.F. Garden '95.
Chris Beetles (London); David Fuller (British)(sold at the following); Christie's, London, April 7, 2000, lot 116; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," August 13, 2001–November 4, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," August 27, 2012–November 18, 2012.

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