Figures by a Waterfall

Figures by a Waterfall



Hexham 1789-1854 Douglas, Isle of Man

Figures by a Waterfall, a Town on a hill beyond

Watercolour heightened with scratching out and gum arabic
212 x 16 mm., 8 ½ x 6 ¼ in.

Michael Campbell dates this drawing to circa 1811-12 which would make it an early work. At the time Martin was training as a glass and china painter at William Collins's workshop on the Strand and in the evenings he studied as a painter. In 1811, he exhibited his first picture at the Royal Academy, `Landscape Composition' and left Collins's workshop the following year. In 1812, he painted one of his first major paintings, `Sadak in search of the Waters of Oblivion' which was accepted by the Royal Academy and he was beginning to establish himself as a drawing master.

In the present work, although Martin has clearly drawn on the many eighteenth century views of the town and waterfall at Tivoli near Rome which he would have known, the topographical details are incorrect for Tivoli.

Anonymous sale, Christie's, 8th April 1997, lot 56;
Private Collection;
With Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, 2008;
Private Collection, London