Rev. William Henry Barnard

The Back of a House in Oxford


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Rev. William Henry Barnard 1767 or 9–1818
Watercolour and graphite on paper
Support: 269 × 192 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

William Barnard, the son of an Irish parson, was a pupil of John Baptist Malchair (no. 24) when an undergraduate at Oxford. Of all Malchair's pupils, it is perhaps Barnard whose work is most readily confused with that of his teacher. Barnard tended to favour the same sort of humble, inconsequential subject that Malchair had found in the alleyways and back streets of Oxford. Malchair's pupils were encouraged to work in monochrome (pencil, chalks and grey washes) rather than watercolour. They were also taught to describe form using tone and mass rather than outline.

Gallery label, September 2004

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