St. Ives Bridge, St. Ives, Huntingdonshire

William Fraser Garden British

Not on view

Garden’s skill with watercolor here creates an image characterized by meticulous realism. Dramatically lit clouds draw attention to a fifteenth-century chapel built into a medieval bridge over the river Ouse—one of only three British chapels from that period to survive. Bluish stone below identifies the original structure, with warmer-toned masonry above related to later additions. A breathless calm allowed the artist to mirror stonework and shrubbery in the river with near-photographic clarity, and the absence of human figures creates an atmosphere of surreal calm. The most talented member of a family of artists, and born Garden William Fraser, the watercolorist changed his last name to distinguish himself while working in relative obscurity around his Fenland home in Huntingdonshire.

St. Ives Bridge, St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, William Fraser Garden (British, Gillingham, Kent 1856–1921 Huntingdon), Watercolor, pen and gray ink, touches of gouache (bodycolor), over graphite

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