Woodcutters at Park Place, Henley, the River Thames Beyond
William Havell (British, Reading 1782–1857 London)
Graphite, watercolor and gouache with gum arabic and scratching out
sheet: 9 5/8 x 13 3/8 in. (24.4 x 33.9 cm)
Purchase, Guy Wildenstein Gift, 2012
Not on view
A blue-tinged rendering of the distant Thames anchors Havell’s watercolor of a scene near Henley—a view created when an estate owner cut a new road through the woods. Men working on a felled tree and a woman resting in the sun with her baby enliven the foreground. In 1827 Havell exhibited this work at the Old Watercolour Society’s annual London exhibition, signaling his reengagement with the English landscape after a spending a decade in China and India. Tinged with autumnal colors, the trees indicate the changing seasons, while water from a recent rain sparkles along a track in the road. This device directs our eyes toward the distant Thames and reminds of the underlying natural rhythms that sustain the landscape. Havell used both scratching and applied touches of gouache to create the highlights that help define water, cloth, and bark.
George Hibbert (British, Manchester 1757–1837), Clapham, London; Manley family collection (Manley Hall, Weedon, near Lichfield, Staffordshire); Michael Bryan, Fine English Watercolors (British)(in 1986); Private Collection, sold at the following; Sale Christie's, London, July 5, 2011, lot 166; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," August 27, 2012–November 18, 2012.
Spink & Son, Ltd., London, Reading Musem and Art Gallery, Abbot Hall Art Gallery William Havell, 1782-1857, paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints. Ex. cat., Spink and Son, Ltd. 24 Nov.-18 Dec., 1981, Reading Museum & Art Gallery, 9 Jan-20 Feb. 1982, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, 6 March-10 April, 1982. Reading, 1981, cat. no. 72, fig. no. illus. on cover, 31, ill.