Cliffs on the north coast of the English county of Devon sweep away to the west. Sandbanks in the middle distance mark the outflow of the river Lyn into the Bristol Channel, while the misty green hills of Exmoor roll away beyond. The artist’s scraping creates lines of breaking surf, and the scale of the watery expanse is emphasized by a tiny steamboat threatened by dark curtains of rain. At the horizon, the sun breaks through clouds to cast pink reflections across the sea. Poynter, a leading academic painter known for realistic evocations of ancient Rome and Biblical subjects, practiced watercolor mostly for his own pleasure. He made this work the year of his marriage, and it was bought by his brother-in-law Alfred Baldwin, who lent it to important exhibitions at Vienna (1873), The Grosvenor Gallery (1877), and The Fine Art Society (1903).
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Title:The West Wind, Lynmouth
Artist:Sir Edward John Poynter (British (born France), Paris 1836–1919 London)
Medium:Watercolor and gouache (bodycolor)
Dimensions:Sheet: 12 in. × 18 1/4 in. (30.5 × 46.4 cm)
Credit Line:Harry G. Sperling Fund, 2015
Inscription: Signed with the artist's monogram and inscribed at lower right: "18 EJP 66 Lynmouth"
Alfred Baldwin (British)[purchased 1867 or after; owned by 1873]; Chris Beetles, London (British), in March 2002; Christopher Cone (British); his sale; Sotheby's, London, May 22, 2014, lot 134; Stephen Ongpin Fine Art (British); Vendor: Stephen Ongpin Fine Art (British)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 12–July 18, 2016.
"The Third General Exhibition of Watercolour Drawings: Dudley Gallery." The Art Journal. Virtue & Co., March 1867, p. 87, "Edward J. Poynter sends drawings which attest once more his ability. His landscapes, which come as a novelty, show versatility of power, and an eye keen of observation...".
"Fine Arts: General Exhibition of Watercolour Drawings" in Illustrated London News. February 9, 1867, p. 143: [Poynter's works at the Dudley Gallery, display his] "range of power".
General Exhibition of Water Colour Drawings, Dudley Gallery, Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly. Wertheimer, Lea & Co., 1867, no. 313, p. 16: "The West Wind," Edward J. Poynter (price including frame £36.15).
J. M. Johnson & Sons The British Section at the Vienna Universal Exhibition: Official Catalogue, With Plans and Illustrations. The British Royal Commission, London, 1873, no. 104, p. 116, "The West Wind" by E. J. Poynter, A.R.A., Beaumont Lodge, Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, London; lent by A. Baldwin, Esq.
"The Grosvenor Gallery.–III." in The Architect. May 26, 1877, p. 335, "Mr. Poynter has a powerful and impressive storm study, "The West Wind" (32).
Oscar Wilde "The Grosvenor Gallery." Dublin University Magazine. July 1877, p. 126, "... there is a good effect of Mr. Poynter's, the east wind seen from a high cliff sweeping down on the sea like the black wings of some god".
Sir Coutts Lindsay, 2nd Baronet , (proprietor and director), Charles E. Hallé , (secretary) The Grosvenor Gallery [exhibition catalogue]. William Thomas Sams , (architect and agent), London, 1877, no. 32, p. 42: "The West Wind," E. J. Poynter, Royal Academician, 11, Albert Terrace, Knightsbridge; lent by A. Baldwin, Esq.
William Michael Rossetti "The Grosvenor Gallery (Second Notice)" in The Academy. May 26, 1877, p. 468, "The West Wind", by Mr. Poynter—a steamer in a bay, with rainy drift, and dreamlike yet perfectly true atmospheric effects, is exceptionally fine—the greatest effort which this painter has made in landscape art".
The Times of London "The Grosvenor Gallery.". May 1, 1877, p. 10: "By Mr. Poynter, are in this room [East Gallery], a portrait of Mrs. Burne-Jones (37), and a landscape view from a window at Lynmouth (37A)" and in the Watercolour Room "a study of sea rippled by west wind, by Poynter".
Catalogue of an Exhibition of Water Colours and Studies by Sir E. Poynter, Bart., P.R.A., Held in the Rooms of the Fine Art Society, 148, New Bond Street. The Fine Art Society, London, London, November 1903, no. 125, p. 13: "The West Wind, Lynmouth" (1865), lent by Mr. A. Baldwin, M.P.
Sotheby's, London A Green and Pleasant Land: Two Centuries of British Landscape Painting [from the Collection of Christopher Cone]. [Sale catalogue]. May 22, 2014, lot 134, pp. 56-57.
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