Sotheby's /Dec 17, 2009
€33,174.83 - €55,291.38
Find artworks, auction results, sale prices and pictures of William James Blacklock at auctions worldwide.Go to the complete price list of works
Artworks in Arcadja8
Some works of William James BlacklockExtracted between 8 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 13, 2012 - LondonLot number: 24
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
LOT 24 PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN WILLIAM JAMES BLACKLOCK 1816-1858 VIEW TO HILLSDALE, CUMBERLAND signed, titled and inscribed with the artist's address on a label attached to the stretcher: View to Hillsdale, Cumberland/ W.J. Blacklock 40 London St/ Fitzroy Square oil on canvas 53.5 by 43cm., 21 by 17in.
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 15, 2011 - LondonLot number: 25
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
LOT 25 PROPERTY OF A LADY AND GENTLEMAN WILLIAM JAMES BLACKLOCK 1816-1858 DERWENTWATER LOOKING TOWARDS BORROWDALE signed and dated l.l.: W.J. Blacklock 1855; inscribed, signed and dated on an old label attached to the reverse: Derwentwater Looking towards/ Borrowdale. W.J. Blacklock/ 1855 oil on canvas 40 by 62cm., 15½ by 24½in.
Auction: Sotheby's -Jul 13, 2010 - LondonLot number: 33
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
LOT 33 WILLIAM JAMES BLACKLOCK 1816-1858 ESTHWAITE LAKE AND THE LANGDALE PIKES 40,000—60,000 GBP measurements 38.5 by 69cm., 15¼ by 27¼in. Description signed and dated l.l.: WJ Blacklock. 1855. oil on canvas PROVENANCE Lord Armstrong;Joseph Crawhall, Morpeth;Private collection EXHIBITED Royal Academy, 1855, no. 1143 CATALOGUE NOTE The present Lakeland view by W.J. Blacklock – among the lastworks from his short career and exhibited at the Royal Academy in1855 – takes its vantage point from the western shore of EsthwaiteWater, and looks north westwards towards the Langdale Fells.Esthwaite is a small and irregularly shaped body of water betweenWindermere and Coniston Water, much loved by the young WilliamWordsworth and to this day tranquil and secluded. The LangdaleFells, with Langdale Pikes at its centre (the chisel-headedmountain which forms the highest peak of the painting's horizon)are among the grandest and most sublime examples of mountainscenery to be found in the British Isles.The artist has lovingly depicted the familiar features of theEnglish Lake District: a white-washed cottage on the far side ofthe lake; woodland on the lower ground, and exposed rock and screeabove; a vegetation of heather, mushrooms and bog cotton. In theforeground stand a group of sheep, and on the right side andobserving the larger scene a young woman who has momentarily placedbeside her an earthenware milk pitcher. This figure may perhaps beidentified as the painter's paramour (who is variously referred toas Bessy and Martha) and to whom he wrote and dedicated drawingsuntil the end of his life.The atmospheric effect of the painting is beautifully observed. Thelandscape is partly suffused in shadow but in other areas brightlylit; while the sky is a magical pattern of pearly broken clouds andclear blue. Blacklock's particular mastery in the treatment ofmountain landscapes depended in great part on his skill andunderstanding of the constantly fluctuating quality of light, andhere especially the scale and structure of the distant ranges aregiven volumetric expression by the graduated fall of light. Thusthe mountain range seems both massive and distant, but at the sametimes almost tangible and lending itself to close and detailedscrutiny. Harriet Martineau, in her guide to the Lakes published in1855, commented on a similar optical ambiguity whereby 'theLangdale Pikes, and their surrounding mountains seem, in somestates of the atmosphere, to approach and overshadow the waters [ofWindermere]; and in others to retire, and shroud themselves incloud land' (A Complete Guide to the English Lakes, Windermere,1855, p. 15).Esthwaite Lake was painted in response to a commission from William(later Sir William, and later still Lord) Armstrong, the Newcastleindustrialist and arms manufacturer and whose house Cragside nearRothbury was built by the architect Richard Norman Shaw. Someglimpses of the progress and completion of this work and acompanion piece also showing the Langdale Pikes (now known asLandscape with a Fisherman is in a private collection) and whichhad been commissioned by the Gateshead collector of Pre-Raphaeliteart, James Leathart, are given in Blacklock's correspondence withLeathart (now held as part of the Leathart Papers, University ofBritish Columbia). In a letter of 2 June 1854 Blacklock spoke of'two pictures just finished one the same lake as I am going to dofor Mr Armstrong but a different view – nearer the Langdale Pikes'.Another letter from the autumn of the same year tells how Blacklockwas suffering from an inflamed eye which made it impossible for himto work, with a consequent hold up on commissions. However, by 9February 1855, he had made sufficient progress to be able to say toLeathart: 'I am working on your friend Mr Armstrong's picture withmuch pleasure and feel very thankful and grateful – for it was atone time doubtful that I should ever again have been able to returnto the Art'. In March 1855 Blacklock asked Leathart to requestpermission from Armstrong that the present work, then 'nearlyfinished', should be sent directly to the Royal Academy, a favourthat was apparently granted. Finally, on 17 September 1855, andwriting from Allonby on the Cumberland coast, the artist could tellLeathart that 'In passing through Carlisle on Saturday to theseaside I had your picture and Mr Armstrong's packed and ready tostart to Newcastle and hope that you have by this time receivedthem'. He went on to say: 'I have painted them as well as I couldneither sparing time nor care in working on them'.Blacklock's health was by this time deteriorating, it seems becauseof a syphilitic infection. Although he believed that theinflammation of his eye had been lessened by bathing in freshwater, in due course he became partially blind leading to hisceasing of work as a professional artist. Given to increasinglyerratic patterns of behaviour, in November 1855 he was consigned byhis family to the Crichton Royal Mental Institution in Dumfries. Itwas there that he died there, on 12 March 1858, aged forty-two, asa result of 'monomania of ambition and general paralysis'.Interestingly, the Crichton hospital, under the direction of DrWilliam Browne, had recently introduced therapies to attempt to aidtheir deranged inmates including drawing, as happened also at theRoyal Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane during the time thatRichard Dadd was incarcerated there, so Blacklock was ableintermittently to continue at least to draw to the end of his life.A number of landscape sketches made at the Crichton are reproducedin Maureen Park's book Art in Madness – Dr W.A.F. Browne'sCollection of Patient Art at Crichton Royal Institution, Dumfries,Dumfries, 2010 (a complimentary copy of which will be offered withthis lot).Although hard to place in the evolving pattern of progressivelandscape painting in the mid-nineteenth century, Blacklock is animportant and intriguing figure who may be regarded both as a pivotbetween the early nineteenth-century landscape school and theachievements of Romanticism, and the earnest and obsessiveinnovations of the Pre-Raphaelite landscape school. Although helived most of his life in Cumberland (he was born in London the sonof a bookseller and publisher, but in 1818 the Blacklock familyreturned to the North where they had long established roots, livingat Cumwhitton near Brampton). Blacklock lived in London from 1836,when he was twenty years old, until 1850, and during which periodhe exhibited at the Royal Academy and British Institution,Liverpool, Birmingham, Norwich and Belfast – generally showingnorth-country landscapes – and gained a respected position inmetropolitan artistic life, his landscape paintings being admiredby Turner, David Roberts and Ruskin among others. His eventualreturn to the North, at a time when he was presumably attempting topreserve his fragile state of health – both mental and physical –marked the commencement of an extraordinary final burst ofcreativity, and led to a small but precious group of landscapemasterpiece paintings of which the present picture is an example.It may reasonably be speculated that Blacklock knew that time wasshort and that he needed to use all available energy andconcentration to produce the series of works that are his memorial,and of which the present may be regarded as the consummation.Much concerning Blacklock's career, and especially the question ofhis contact with other artists, is a matter of speculation. Hisname is largely absent from the diaries, correspondence and memoirsof the Pre-Raphaelite circle, but we do know that he was in contactwith William Bell Scott, headmaster of the Government School ofDesign in Newcastle and who was in turn a close friend of DanteGabriel Rossetti. It was almost certainly by Scott's introductionor recommendation that Blacklock built up a circle of patrons inthe North East (Armstrong and Leathart included). Scott andRossetti may have hoped to meet Blacklock when they made theirwalking tour from Newcastle to Carlisle in June 1853. Scott who,like Rossetti was a poet as well as a painter, seems to haverecorded their vain attempt to visit him in his poem 'An Artist'sBirthplace', published in 1854. The verse describes the arrival oftwo men at the cottage home of a painter who may be recognised asBlacklock:A fit place for an artist to be reared;Not a great Master whose vast unshared toils,Add to the riches of the world, rebuildGod's house, and clothe with Prophets walls and roof,Defending cities as a pastime – suchWe have not! but the homelier heartier handThat gives us English landscapes year by year.There is his small ancestral home, so gay,With rosery and green wicket. We last metIn London: I've heard since he had returnedHomeward less sound in health than when he reachedThat athlete's theatre, well termed the graveOf little reputations. Fresh againLet's hope to find him.Even more uncertain, and yet perhaps a vital factor in ourunderstanding and appreciation of the particular character ofBlacklock's painting, is his knowledge of historic schools ofpainting. Living in London as he did between 1836 and 1850 he wouldhave had the opportunity to study the paintings of the nascentNational Gallery collection. It has been suggested that it was theunveiling of Old Master works long concealed under layers ofdiscoloured varnish as a result of Charles Eastlake's cleaningprogramme of in the mid-1840s that prompted Blacklock to adoptbrighter and more luminous colours (as he undoubtedly did in theperiod). A further possibility is that he made a European tour atsome point, seeing for himself works of the sixteenth andseventeenth centuries, and also perhaps making contact with workingartists in France, Germany or Italy. Only the slightest indicationsurvives of Blacklock's interest in the work of the Old Masters –in a letter to Leathart of 20 September 1854 he looks forward tohearing about the works of art that the latter had seen in thecourse of a Continental tour. Nonetheless, broad stylisticanalogies may be drawn between the landscape paintings of Blacklockand those of other British artists who had visited Europe in theirformative years. William Dyce, for example, who had visited Italyin 1825-26 and there made contact with the German Nazarene paintersin Rome. Something of the clarity of light and simplicity ofexpression, along with a particular feeling for colour effectswhich are peaceful and never strident, that characterises Dyce'spure landscapes, is also infused into the less well known works ofW. J. Blacklock, and may perhaps likewise be indebted to aknowledge of European schools of painting.CSN
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 17, 2009 - LondonLot number: 17
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
LOT 17 PROPERTY OF A LADY AND GENTLEMAN WILLIAM JAMES BLACKLOCK 1816-1858 THE CHAPEL AT HADDON HALL 30,000—50,000 GBP measurements measurements note 43 by 43cm.; 17 by 17in. Description signed l.r.: W.J.Blacklock; indistinctly inscribed on an old label attached to the stretcher; Haddon Hall/ The Chapel/ Blacklock/ Cumwhitton/ Carlisle oil on canvas EXHIBITED Royal Academy, 1852, no.172 CATALOGUE NOTE This painting depicts the chapel that occupies the south-west courtyard at the Derbyshire house of Haddon Hall near Bakewell, the seat of the Manners family. Blacklock painted another view of Haddon Hall in 1848 depicting a man and woman at the foot of the steps at the terrace. Blacklock's work is rare and The Chapel at Haddon Hall is the earliest picture by the artist to have been offered at auction in recent history. Although Blacklock had no direct contact with the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood his paintings have a similar attention to detail and intensity of clarity.
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 9, 2008 - LondonLot number: 107
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Measurements note 46 by 60 cm., 18 by 24 in. DESCRIPTION signed and dated l.c.: W J Blacklock 1853 oil on canvas PROVENANCE S. F. Chance, Clift Hill, Bush-on-Lyne;Symon Brown;Private collection EXHIBITED Kendal, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Two Cumbrian Painters of the19th Century – A Fresh Appraisal – William J. Blacklock (1816-1858)Sam Bough (1822-1878) , 1981, not numbered (reproduced in thetypescript catalogue) CATALOGUE NOTE William James Blacklock's 1853 painting gives a view across thesouthern end of Crummock Water in the north-western Lake District.The vantage point was on the lake's western shore at the foot ofthe Loweswater Fells. Scale Force joins the lake here, and islikely to be the beck seen in the right hand foreground. The viewis therefore towards the north east, with Grassmoor at the centreand the somewhat lower peak of Whiteless Pike to the right. Theprotuberant outcrop seen close to the lake's far shore on the rightside is Rannerdale Knotts, at Hause Point.The early history of the painting is unclear. It does not appearamong the lists of Blacklock's exhibited works, nor is it referredto in the artist's correspondence with James Leathart of Gateshead,which commenced in the year in which it was made. It seems not tohave been among the group of Lakeland landscapes that the paintermade at about this time for Mr Roberson, the artist' colourman. Itis nonetheless a celebrated and characteristic painting by perhapsthe most remarkable of all painters who have dedicated themselvesto the representation of the English Lake District. Included as itwas in the seminal exhibition of Blacklock's works (in combinationwith those of Sam Bough) that Mary Burkett organised at Abbot Hallin 1981, it was then described as a work in which the artist'catches the warm, dappled light ... in an unbelievable manner. Hesuggests the sultry heat of a summer's day and the solid mass ofmountain as if he were using a lens for accuracy and yet without atrace of pedantry or any exaggeration of form'.Although hard to place in the evolving pattern of progressivelandscape painting in the mid-nineteenth century, Blacklock is amost intriguing figure. Born in London, the son of a bookseller andpublisher, in 1818 the family returned to Cumberland – in whichcounty they had been established since the 1730s – living atCumwhitton. Blacklock returned to London in 1836 and lived thereuntil 1850. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and BritishInstitution – generally showing north country landscapes – andgained a respected position in metropolitan artistic life, hislandscape paintings being admired by Turner and Ruskin amongothers. He appears to have been no direct contacts with members ofthe Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who were in any case much youngerthan him, but Blacklock would certainly have seen early worksexhibited by members of the group and their associates. It is amatter of speculation as what European artists' works he may alsohave studied, with French painters such as Corot and Courbetsometimes mentioned as the inspiration of his work as a landscapepainter.The most remarkable of his works come from the last four years ofhis life, after his return to Cumwhitton and all showing theLakeland fells or neighbouring countryside. This extraordinarysurge of creativity was sadly short lived. In 1854 he lost thesight of one eye, while the following year he suffered a mentalbreakdown and was placed in the Crichton Royal Mental Institutionin Dumfries where he died in 1858.CSN