James Holworthy

Landscape Study

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
James Holworthy 1781–1841
Watercolour on paper
Support: 61 × 111 mm
Presented by Miss Marjorie Ball 1986

Catalogue entry

T04369 Landscape Study

Watercolour over pencil on laid paper 61 × 111 (2 3/8 × 4 3/8)

Presented by Miss Marjorie Ball 1986
Prov: ...; Miss Marjorie Ball

The extensive river landscape condensed into this very small sketch has not been identified, but, freely drawn with the brush, is evidently taken from nature. It reflects the influence of Holworthy's teacher, John Glover. A watercolourist and drawing master originally from Bosworth in Leicestershire, Holworthy was a founder member of the Old Water-Colour Society, where he exhibited until 1824. He married a niece of Joseph Wright of Derby either in that year or in 1821, and in 1822 left London to settle on an estate near Heathersedge, Derbyshire. Notwithstanding these other artistic connections, Holworthy's chief claim to attention today is as a friend, correspondent (at least from 1815) and minor patron of J.M.W. Turner. He was also acquainted with Turner's patron, the author and classicist Henry Gally Knight, and, in about 1814, was the London neighbour of Turner's close friend W.F. Wells. He visited Turner's Gallery, was apparently among the early subscribers to Charles Turner's mezzotint of his namesake's ‘Shipwreck’ when it was first advertised in 1805, and purchased other later prints, including the first number of the Liber Studiorum (a receipt for his payment for this was in the collection of the late Kurt Pantzer, Indianapolis). He seems to have owned Watteau's ‘L'Isle Enchantée’ (private collection, Switzerland), formerly in the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds, from which Turner made drawings in 1815 and borrowed figures for his 1819 painting ‘England: Richmond Hill on the Prince Regent's Birthday’ (Tate Gallery). Turner's letters to Holworthy - among the liveliest and most intimate that he ever wrote - are published in J. Gage, Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner, 1980, while other letters to Holworthy are preserved in a volume entitled Exhibitions: Society of Painters in Water Colours, &c, in the Victoria and Albert Museum library.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996


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