THOMAS BUSH HARDY, RBA (1842-1897): Master PainterDAVID H. KIRBY-WELCH Book Number: 85563 Product format: Hardback
Thomas Bush Hardy's marine watercolours catch the glittering surface of moving water in a way that marks him out from contemporaries in the genre, and his obituary in The Times praised his "unusual freshness and force". This book aims to show a representative selection of Hardy's work and places him in the context of other watercolour marine artists such as Nicholas Pocock or Samuel Atkins. Naval victories fuelled interest in seascapes, and the establishment of the Old Watercolour Society in 1804 brought the medium into the mainstream. Hardy was born in Sheffield and fought in the American Federal Army as a young man before settling in London, exhibiting 35 works at the Royal Academy between 1872 and 1897. An impressionistic brown wash study of Liverpool, dated 1867, shows square-rigged merchantmen at anchor, while a rare landscape of the period looks across the downs to Arundel Castle. One of his few oil paintings is an accomplished study of Margate Harbour, demonstrating a characteristic facility in suggesting the movement of waves even in this heavier medium. "Bamburgh Castle" is a romantic vista with threatening clouds and a beachcomber, and "On the Rocks" is a vividly-realised shipwreck. French scenes include the Chateau d'Amboise, and in Venice Hardy captures the Doge's Palace with a clarity almost reminiscent of Canaletto, while a study of the Guidecca returns to his more impressionistic style. This volume is a fine introduction to an impressive and little-known body of work. 245pp, appendices listing works in major exhibitions, gazetteer of contemporary artists, hundreds of stunning colour reproductions on glossy pages, 9½" x 12".
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Published price: £35
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