William Havell

Windsor Castle

c.1807

Medium
Oil paint on card
Dimensions
Support: 117 x 219 mm
farme: 230 x 335 x 21 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1982
Reference
T03394

Display caption

This is evidently a sketch from nature in view of its small size, broad handling and simplified tonal patterns. It probably dates from about the time that Havell was preparing watercolours of Windsor Castle for the exhibitions of the Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1806, 1807 and 1808. It may be compared with Turner's Thames sketches of 1805 and also to those of their mutual friend William Delamotte. An example by Turner is shown to the right, whilst one by Delamotte hangs on the opposite wall.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T03394 WINDSOR CASTLE c. 1807

Oil on card 4 9/16 × 8 5/8 (116 × 219)
Inscribed ‘Windsor -|31|Windsor Castle| in the distance|WHavell’ on back of card
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Prov: ...; anon. sale, Phillips 19 May 1981 (part of 53, repr.) £550 bt Anthony Reed, from whom bt by Spink & Son Ltd 1981 and sold by them to the Tate Gallery
Exh: William Havell 1782–1857, Spink & Son Ltd, November–December 1981, Reading Museum & Art Gallery, January–February 1982, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, March–April 1982 (54)

This sketch was dated to 1807 in the catalogue of the 1981–2 Havell exhibition on the supposition that it was a pair to ‘On the Kennet, Reading’, no.53 in the same exhibition (now Yale Center for British Art) and that the latter was probably painted about the time of the ‘Reading Abbey’ which Havell exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807 (Reading Museum & Art Gallery). However, the two sketches are only a pair in the sense of being painted in a similar technique on the same size cards and there seems no particular reason to associate them with the May 1807 exhibit, a summer scene presumably at least begun in 1806. Havell did, nevertheless, exhibit watercolours of Windsor Castle at the Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1806, 1807 and 1808 and T03394 may well date from this period.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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