• The Church of the Virgin Mary and Saint Charlemagne, Prague -
    Price on request

    Inscribed lower right: Prague/St Charles

    Pencil and stump heightened with white

    26.2 by 39.5 cm., 10 ¼ by 15 ½  in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Spink, London (K3 9514);

    Anonymous sale, Bonham's, 6th June 2006, lot 44;

    Private Collection, Ontario, Canada

     

    The present drawing appears to depict the Church of the Virgin Mary and Saint Charlemagne, built on Mount Charles, the highest point in the new town of Prague. In September 1350, Charles IV personally laid the foundation stone for the church which took 27 years to build.

     

    Samuel Prout developed a reputation for depicting detailed topographical studies, particularly of continental architectural views and he travelled widely throughout Europe in order to find suitable subject matter. He visited Prague in 1829, the year he was appointed Painter in Ordinary in Watercolours to George IV.

     

    This trip proved hugely successful and as a result, he produced a series of lithographs entitled, Facsimile of Sketches made in Flanders and Germany, published in 1833, which included five views of Prague. Treatises and books on travel, became hugely popular in the 19th century, and Prout’s publication was in the vanguard of these. It proved influential on many of Prout’s contemporaries, including Thomas Shotter Boys, David Roberts and John Ruskin, who was directly inspired to undertake his first visit to Europe. 

     

    Prout made numerous, detailed on-the-spot pencil drawings, such as the present work, which served as the basis for the highly finished watercolours, executed in his studio on his return.

  • Study of Beached Boats -
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    signed lower left: S. Prout.

    watercolour and pencil heightened with white on buff paper

    26.8 by 19.8cm., 10 1/2 by 7 3/4 inches

     

    Prout made studies of fishermen and boats throughout his life but the present drawing is unusual in being signed and more finished than most. It may relate to his drawings for his ?Microcosms? : the Artist?s sketchbook of Figures, Shipping and other picturesque Objects? published in 1841 and almost certainly dates from his time in Hastings (1836-1844)

  • Near Plymouth -
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    Signed on prow of boat lower centre and inscribed verso: near Plymouth

    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    24.7 x 22.7 cm., 9 ? x 9 in.

     

    Provenance:

    Private collection, London, until 2010

     

    This is a fine example of Prout?s early style before he visited the Continent in 1819. It is likely to be the picture of this title exhibited at the Society of Painters in Water-Colours in 1815, no. 349 which was bought by Lord Buckinghamshire for 4 guineas.

  • Hooe near Plymouth, Devon -
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    Signed lower right and dated 1808 and inscribed verso: Hooe/near Plymo/Dev
    Grey washes
    19.5 by 25.8cm., 7 3/4 by 10 inches

    This early work by Prout shows a village just outside his native city of Plymouth on the Plym estuary. It may have been commissioned by John Britton for whom Prout worked at this period, producing watercolours to be engraved for Britton's Beauties of England and Wales and other publications
  • Looking north up the Rio del Palazzo from the Fondamenta de la Canonica, Venice -
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    Pencil and stump heightened with touches of white

    36.8 by 25.8 cm., 14 ½  by 10 in.

     

    This is a view looking north up the Rio del Palazzo showing the Calle de la Canonica. Behind is the Bridge of Sighs.

    Prout first visited Italy in 1824 and was certainly in Venice by 25th September, when the Somerset House Gazette, advertised the fact. He exhibited xx Italian views at the Watercolour Society the following year, including xx of Venice. He possibly returned to Venice in 1827, in connection with a proposed book project by Thomas Uwins for Ackermann’s, which never came to fruition.

    Prout was at the forefront of the artists who, following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, sought inspiration in continental Europe and was instrumental in bringing the landscapes and towns that they saw to the British public through their engravings and illustrated volumes. Prout’s work was extensively reproduced by the leading printmakers and publishers, including Ackermann’s and also published several volumes, including his celebrated Illustrations of the Rhine (1822-6) himself.

    As Richard Lockett notes, ‘During the 1820s Prout’s images of Venice were the most familiar ones to interested members of the British public with no first hand knowledge of Italy. His influence on artists can be seen in the Venetian views that Edward Pritchett began to exhibit in 1833’(Richard Lockett, Samuel Prout 1783 – 1852, 1985, p. 60). Furthermore, almost half of Prout’s most expensive exhibits at the Society of Painters in Watercolour were of Venetian views. However, Prout did not produce a travel volume dedicated to the subject of Venice, instead his works were disseminated through a variety of different publications.

  • Study of figures at a Market -
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    Watercolour over pencil 

    58 x 13cm., 2 ? x 5 inches

     

    This dates from one of Prout?s continental tours to France, Belgium and Germany from 1819 onwards.

  • Boats on the Beach at Hastings -
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    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with bodycolour on buff paper

    24 by 33.1 cm., 9 ½ by 13 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    By descent to Samuel Gillespie Prout (1822-1911) (authenticated by him on old label);

    Mrs Brimacombe of Brighton;

    Bequeathed to Mrs Brent Palchair, Brighton 1939;

    Given to Mrs Hazelton, Brighton, 1974;

    Private Collection until 2015

     

    Prout lived in Hastings from 1837 to 1844 for health reasons but stylistically this drawing appears to be earlier. His first documented visit to the town is in August1815 but he may have been there earlier. A similar watercolour study of fishing boats on the beach at Hastings is in the Tate Gallery (T1010). 

  • Upnor Castle on the Medway -
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    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and stopping out

    43.2 by 56.3 cm., 17 by 22 in.

     

    Provenance:

    Walter Fawkes of Farnley Hall, Yorkshire (1769-1825);

    With the Manning Gallery, London, 1969

     

    Exhibited:

    London, Manning Gallery, November 1969, no.30


    This early work dates from circa 1820.

  • A Barge on a River -
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    signed on prow of barge: S. Prout.

    watercolour and pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    18 by 34cm., 7 by 13 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    A Deceased Estate, Leeds, 1925

     

    This dates from circa 1815-19 before Prout?s first trip to the Continent and the development of his later style. It may relate to a drawing for ?Studies of Boats and Coastal Scenery? which was published by Ackermann in 1816.

  • A Mill at Coldrenick, Cornwall -
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    Signed lower right: Prout and inscribed on part of old backing: Mill at Coldrenick/...Jan 7. 1808

    Watercolour over pencil

    26.2 by 37.8 cm., 10 ¼ by 14 ¾ in.

     

    Coldrenick House is at Menheniot near Liskeard in Cornwall.

  • Old Houses, Nuremberg -
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    Signed with monogram lower left: SProut

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with bodycolour

    427 x 286 mm., 17 x 11 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Eliza Bell;

    Given to Edward Ford (b.1813), Enfield Old Park, 1872;

    Anonymous sale, Christie’s, 16th March 1982, lot 126, sold for £1,400;

    Private Collection, UK

     

    Prout’s first visit to Germany was his Rhine tour in the summer of 1821 but he first visited Nuremberg on his 1823 tour (see Richard Lockett, Samuel Prout, 1985, p.53). He exhibited three Nuremberg views at the Society of Painters in Water-colours in 1824 and one in both 1825 and 1826. 
  • Study of three Figures -
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    watercolour over pencil on grey paper

    7.2 by 5.6cm., 2 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches

     

    Prout was brought up in Devon before moving to London in 1802. This sketch dates from one of his many tours to France, Belgium and Germany from 1819 onwards.

  • Study of two Figures in cloaks -
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    watercolour over pencil on grey paper

    7.2 by 5.6cm., 2 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches

     

    Prout was brought up in Devon before moving to London in 1802. This sketch dates from one of his many tours to France, Belgium and Germany from 1819 onwards.

  • The Grand Canal, Venice -
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    Pencil and stump heightened with touches of white on grey paper

    25 by 36 cm., 9 ¾ by 14 in.

     

    Provenance:

    With the Fine Art Society, London, 1962;

    Private Collection

     

    This is a view looking north across the Grand Canal from the steps of the church of Santa Maria della Salute. The building with the tower on top to the right is the 15th century Palazzo Contarini Fasan, originally the home of the Contarini family. In the centre extending across two buildings is the Palazzo Ferro Fini, now the home of the Consiglio Regionale del Veneto. It was originally two palazzos, the Morosini Ferro and the Flangini Fini, which were combined in the 1860s as the New York hotel. By 1970, the buildings were in decay and were purchased by the Veneto Region and to house the local government. The building the other side of the canal is the Gritti Palace hotel.

    Prout’s first visit to Italy, and Venice, was in 1824 and his first exhibited works were the following year. As well as watercolours, he produced highly finished pencil drawings of this type which stylistically influenced the young John Ruskin. They were usually drawn on grey paper with white heightening. For a drawing of the Riva degli Schiavoni, of the same size, see Timothy Wilcox, Samuel Prout – a Grand Tour in Watercolour, 2017, no.22, pp.86-7, ill.).

  • The Temple of Pallas in the Forum of Nerva, Rome -
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    Signed with monogram centre left: SProut

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    42.5 by 27.6 cm., 16 ¾ by  10 ¾ in.

    .

    Provenance:

    John Murray III (1808-1892);

    By descent to the present owner

     

    Prout visited Rome at least twice during his tour of 1824 and he exhibited works of this subject several times at the Society of Painters in Water-colours, firstly in 1826. Versions are in the Birmingham City Art Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum (see Richard Lockett, Samuel Prout, 1985, p. 139, no. 46, illustrated in colour). A lithograph of the subject was published in 1839 in Prout’s Sketches in France, Switzerland and Italy.

  • The Church of San Giorgio dei Greci, Venice -
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    Signed with monogram lower left: SProut

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour and gum arabic

    41.6 by 27.1 cm., 16 1/4 by 10 1/2 inches

     

    Provenance:

    John Murray III (1808-1892);

    By descent to the present owner

     

    Prout visited Venice on his first tour to Italy in 1824, probably in late November, and he exhibited Venetian subjects for the rest of his life. John Ruskin was a particular admirer of Prout’s Venetian views and wrote to him in 1849: `I had not the least idea of the beauty and accuracy of those sketches of Venice, - so touchingly accurate are they, that my wife, who looks back to Venice with great regret, actually and fairly bursts into tears over them, and I was obliged to take them away from her. I, who in many cases like the sketches better than the places, pursued my walk through Venice with intense pleasure: especially because you have been so scrupulous and fondly faithful….’ (Letter of May 1849 – Works, vol. XXXVIII, 343).

     

    John Murray III knew Prout as the latter produced illustrations for `Sketches from Venetian History’ which Murray published in 1831-32 so this and no. 24 probably came direct from the artist.

  • Cottages at Ashbourne, Derbyshire -
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    Inscribed lower right: Ashbourn and on part of former mount: Bought of Mr Ruskin 1879/George Allen

    Pencil and stump

    16.5 by 24.6 cm., 6 ½ by  9 ½ in.


    Provenance:

    John Ruskin (1819-1900);

    George Allen (1832-1907)

     

    Ashbourne is a small town at the southern edge of the Peak District and is often known as the `Gateway to Dovedale.’ A drawing `Near Ashbourne’ by Prout was published as part of `A Series of Views of ancient Buildings, and rural Cottages in the North of England’ in 1822 as was a drawing of the Peak Cavern, Derbyshire. Prout almost certainly visited Derbyshire on his tour to the north of England in 1818 and a number of Yorkshire views from this tour also once belonged to Ruskin and were given by him to the Ashmolean Museum. The inscription dated 1879 suggests that Ruskin considered including this work in his exhibition of drawings by Prout and Hunt at the Fine Art Society in 1879-80.

     

    Another Prout drawing, of Ayton in Scotland, is recorded in the Witt Library as having been in the possession of George Allen. Allen was originally a pupil of Ruskin at his Working Men’s College in 1854 before becoming his assistant drawing master. He worked for Ruskin in different guises for over fifty years. When Ruskin decided to set up a publishing company in 1871, Allen took on the enterprise without any previous experience in the business and he published Ruskin’s work until his death.

  • On the River Dart, Devon -
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    Inscribed verso: On the Dart and numbered 8

    Watercolour heightened with touches of gum arabic

    25.5 by 23.2 cm., 10 by 9 in.

     

    This early work dates from circa 1810. Samuel Prout was born in Plymouth and was encouraged to draw by his headmaster, who was himself a keen amateur artist. He was a fellow pupil at the grammar school with Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846). In 1802, he moved to London on the invitation of John Britton, who he had met in Haydon’s father’s print shop. He returned to Devon due to ill health between 1805 and 1808, but then returned to London, where he was to remain based for much of the rest of his life.

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