• The Cave at Freshwater, Isle of Wight -
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    Signed lower centre: L FRANCIA

    Watercolour over pencil

    8 by 16.3 cm., 3 by 6 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    R.N. Ponsonby, 1963;

    With Spinks, London, where bought by Dewhurst, 16th September 1964;

    With Abbott and Holder, circa 1980;

    Private Collection, UK

     

    Born in Calais, Francia first came to England in 1795, the year he first exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was a fellow student of Girtin at Dr Monro’s and his influence is evident on his work. In 1805 he set up as a drawing master in Kensington and returned to Calais in 1817 where he taught the young Bonington. Anthony Reed has dated this drawing to 1806-7 when Francia visited the Isle of Wight.

  • The Calais Fishing Fleet setting sail: Grey Morning -
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    Signed on pier: L. Francia

    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with bodycolour

    11.7 by 1.7 cm., 4 ¾ by 7 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Anthony Reed, Cork St., London, 1985;

    Bought by the present owner at Abbott and Holder, London, 2004

     

    Literature:

    Anthony Reed, Louis Francia and his son Alexandre, 1985, no.43, ill. p.79;

    Gerald Bauer, The Eloquence of Watercolour - the Genius of Bonington's Contemporaries, 2003, ill. no.39

     

    Exhibited:

    London, Anthony Reed, 3 Cork St., Louis Francia and his son Alexandre, 1st to 23rd October 1985, no.43

    Born in Calais, Francia moved to London in 1790 and soon afterwards was employed as a teaching assistant at J.C. Barrow’s drawing academy. By 1795, he was exhibiting at the Royal Academy and in 1805 he set up as a drawing master in Kensington. In 1817, having failed to gain election as an Associate of the Royal Academy the previous year, he returned to Calais as Secretary to the British Consul there, where he remained for the rest of his life. At the end of 1817, Bonington moved to Calais with his family and soon encountered Francia who gave him lessons. Anthony Reed (op. cit.) dates the present watercolour to circa 1830. 

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