John Baptist Malchair



Not on display

John Baptist Malchair 1729–1812
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Unconfirmed: 415 × 552 mm
Presented by Ian Fleming-Williams 1995 to celebrate the Tate Gallery Centenary 1997

Display caption

Malchair, violinist and drawing master, was born in Cologne and came to England in 1754. He led the Oxford Music Room Band, which gave subscription concerts, from 1759 to 1792. By the late 1760s he had also built up a successful practice as a drawing master in Oxford, where, unconventionally, he encouraged direct study from nature. His own work shows a strong feeling for tonal effects. This drawing, made on a tour of Wales in 1795, is one of a group that passed to Malchair's pupil William Crotch, Professor of Music at Oxford and by about 1806 a friend of John Constable. It is possible that Constable saw Malchair's Welsh drawings before he set out to make his own drawings of the mountainous Lake District in 1806.

Gallery label, September 2004

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