John Varley Classical Landscape Composition c.1835

Artwork details

John Varley 1778–1842
Classical Landscape Composition
Date c.1835
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 152 x 114 mm
Acquisition Presented by Miss Marjorie Ball 1988
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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John Varley was a well-known and prolific watercolourist. He exhibited regularly at the Old Watercolour Society, of which he was a founder member in 1804. He is best known for his topographical landscapes, often Welsh subjects. These landscapes were usually interpreted in the manner of the Old Masters such as Claude Lorraine (1600-1682) or Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665). In his late career he concentrated almost exclusively on imaginary landscape compositions, whether exhibition pieces or small bold sketches like this one, rapidly executed in dark brown wash. A number of these small studies are known to have been owned both by Samuel Palmer and by Varley's ex-pupil, John Linnell.

September 2004

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