Friday, June 14, 2013

Who painted this? #31?

Who painted this? #31
[right CLICK and open in a new tab to see a larger image]
This is an epic painting of a normal activity associated with the UK summer - a day on the beach (wrapped up warm!)

I've taken to lamenting of late how few painters these days tackle the big group scene.  So I was particularly pleased when I came across this painting!

All you have to do is work out where it is and then you should get the painter and the rest of the details that I ask for.  Don't forget to right click the pic to see a larger version.

How to participate in "Who painted this? #31"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.
Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know

Who Painted This #30 - The Answer

"A Summer Day" by John Sell Cotman
  • Title of the artworkA Summer Day
  • Name of the artist who created this artwork: John Sell Cotman, 1782-1842, British
  • Date it was created: 1827 to 1837
  • Media used: Watercolor and graphite on Medium, moderately textured, cream wove paper; Sheet: 12 1/2 x 18 3/8 inches (31.8 x 46.7 cm)
  • Where it lives now: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1977.14.4104)
I thought this was a rather lovely painting - which is very likely to have been painted in Cotman's studio.  It came as something of a shock to me to learn that in fact he rarely painted plein air when I visited the Cotman exhibition in Ocrtober last year - see Review: Cotman in Normandy - at Dulwich Picture Gallery.  He almost always painted in the studio - from sketchbook observations.
John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) was a leading member of the Norwich school of Artists - which was the first provincial art movement in the UK...... he was very much influenced by Thomas Girtin and joined a sketching club founded by Girtin.
I went through the whole introduction at the preview by the Curator yesterday without once realising that not one single drawing or painting in the exhibition was produced by Cotman 'on site' while working 'plein air'. I also only found that out when I asked where his sketchbooks were. Apparently there are no sketchbooks or any original drawings. All the works in existence are studio works made from the original drawings.
He was painting during what is known as the "golden age of English watercolour painting"

Who guessed correct?

Barbara Jackson (Painting with Pencil) was the first person to get all the details correct. Looks like she used a gradual process for working her way through the challenge.

sonyartchasey was the first person to get the painter;'s name but didn't follow through with the rest of the details

Others who got it correct are:


  1. I found the artist easily enough, but it took some tracking to get all the details. Finally found everything on the Royal Collection website.
    "Life at the Seaside - Ramsgate Sands"
    William Powell Frith
    oil on canvas
    77 X 155.1 cm
    Royal Collection of H.M. Elizabeth II

    Interesting to note that this panoramic seaside painting took 3 years to complete and contains over 100 figures (yikes!). Queen Victoria fell in love with it and bought it from Frith for a thousand pounds. A princely sum for the time!

  2. William Powell Frith - Life at the Seaside (Ramsgate Sands) 1852-4
    Oil on canvas
    bought by Queen Victoria and is in the Royal Collection.

    (Haven't those people arranged themselves it paintable groups!)
    The artist included a self-portrait (peeping over the shoulder of the man on the far right), while the little girl paddling in the centre staring directly at the painter is thought to have been his daughter.

    Looked for a seaside resort with cliffs and/or facing N/NE
    Googled 19th century seaside oil painting Ramsgate

  3. Ramsgate sands (Life at the Seaside)
    William Powell Frith
    Oil on Canvas
    The Royal Collection

    I searched for paintings of victorian bathing party, this painting didn't come up but another of a group of Victorians at a train station came up which I could see was by the same artist.

  4. Hi Katherine
    Life at the Seaside by William Powell Frith, oil on canvas, painted 1905. Lives at the Russell Cotes Art gallery and Museum in Bournmouth.
    I just knew it was Frith mainly because of the scope of the picture so a search of the BBC data base got me to it very quickly. I've guessed quite a few of your conundrums but not followed through. I was particularly cross I didn't go further with last weeks Cotman. I love your blog and read every posting. Thankyou, Mary.

  5. Ramsgate Sands, by William Powell Frith RA, 1854. Part of the Royal collection and originally acquired by Queen Victoria. Oil on canvas, size 70 cms x 155.1 cms. Purchased by Queen Victoria from Messrs Lloyd (payment dated 13 July 1854, £1,000, QV Ledgers 1854/90).

  6. Title: Life at the Seaside (Ramsgate Sands)
    Artist: William Powell Frith
    Date: 1854
    Medium: Oil on canvas
    Where it is :Royal Collection
    How I found it: I thought I could see Cleoparta`s needle in the background so followed that lead all over the place before realising I was getting nowhere, then Googled Victorian Summer paintings which gave me the image ( on Bridgeman Art Library) , then followed that lead till I had all of the information
    I do hope your eyes are really on the mend by now
    Bernadette Madden

  7. "O Life at the Seaside" or "Ramsgate Sands" by William Powell Firth, 1852-54, Oil on canvas, Royal Collection UK

    I began search with Hogarth Beach Brighton...cloths...1700...1800...Victorian England artists...chose a few...looking for illustrator types...chose Firth found no painting...Dickens England Artists...look at images...switch to Victorian at Beach England...look at Google Images and found "O Life at the Seaside" painting...followed link to the Royal Collection dot org dot UK website

  8. Ramsgate Sands (life at the Seaside) 1854
    William Powell Frith (1819-1909)
    Oil on Canvas
    Bought by Queen Victoria
    The Royal Collection England
    How I thought....I knew it was Victorian... Thought Brighton.....found the painting "the Derby" stylistically the same as the posted painting. Looked up Frith and there was Ramsgate Sands.

    Barbara Jackson
    Question the images of this painting are quite varied color wise. Is there a painting plus complete sketches?
    Has it been restored? Is it the photography?

  9. Hello,
    I`m glad to see my name again on the list but curious about something. The 4 people ahead of me posted their answers on Saturday, but I didn`t receive Who Painted This 31 until 8.10 am on Sunday.Is there a reason for this.?....I`m really enjoying the challenge of doing the detective work and hoping someday to be the first past the post!
    Bernadette Madden

  10. Hi Bernadette - the blog is live as soon as the post is published. However if you're getting the post via email then that's set up to collect the feed at a specific time and then distribute to people.

    So email means you never miss a post - but you might not pick it up as fast as other people.

    I've been trying to vary the times I publish so that it doesn't favour one person or one time zone.

  11. Thanks for the for another question. I do get the blog via email, how can i pick it up quicker?
    Bernadette Madden

  12. It automatically produces a tweet when published so you could try having a Twitter feed and then there's something in Twitter which allows you to isolate and highlight tweets by specific accounts

    Or you could a feed reader

    Essentially all other methods involve some form of checking. Only email delivers it to you at a planned time.

  13. Thanks....I`ll keep checking until I can learn about the other methods you suggest..

  14. Thanks....I`ll keep checking until I can learn about the other methods you suggest..


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