George Garrard

Coombe Hill

1791

Medium
Oil paint on card
Dimensions
Support: 137 x 184 mm
frame: 298 x 335 x 28 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1981
Reference
T03299

Display caption

Garrard was chiefly an animal painter and sculptor. His oil sketches of landscapes in and around London, painted in the 1790s, were made for his own pleasure or to develop technical facility. They served no very important part in building his art and are perhaps so fresh precisely because of this. This subject is probably Coombe Hill, to the south of Richmond Park.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

T03299 COOMBE HILL 1791

 

Inscribed ‘Coomb Hill 1791’ below the painted area and the same on the back of the board; there is a further, illegible inscription on the back. The backboard of the frame in which the work was acquired was inscribed in a later hand ‘Coombe Hill/1794/ G. Garrard ARA’
Oil, 5 1/2 × 7 3/4 (13.5 × 18.5), on card, 6 1/4 × 7 3/4 (15.9 × 19.4)
Purchased at Sotheby's (Grant-in-Aid) 1981
Prov: ...; said to have been sold at auction, Ringwood, Hants. 1981; acquired from the purchaser by Christopher Wright and sold by him, Sotheby's 22 July 1981 (142, repr.), bt William Drummond for the Tate Gallery.

Garrard made a number of landscape sketches in oil during the 1790s. Dated or datable examples include ‘Hyde Park from Knightsbridge’ of 1793 (exh. A Decade of English Naturalism 1810–1820, Norwich Castle Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, 1969–70, no.25, repr.), ‘Tring Park’ of c. 1793 (ibid., no.23, repr.), both formerly in the collection of Edward Croft-Murray, and ‘Mr Taylor's Barn at Marlow’ of c. 1797 (coll. Denys Oppé, exh. Landscape in Britain c. 1750–1850, Tate Gallery 1973–4, no.98, repr.). The latter was used for the background of a larger painting, ‘Portrait of a Fat Holderness Heifer’, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1797. T03299 is the earliest dated example so far known of Garrard's landscape sketching in oil. Without more detailed knowledge of his movements in the 1790s, it is impossible to say which of the many places called Coombe or Combe is depicted. The Coombe Hill closest to London, however, would seem to be the one just south of Richmond Park.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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