1840 Falmouth Harbour Watercolour by J G Philp


An attractive and slightly naïve watercolour of the Fal Estuary, with boats.

It is titled ‘Falmouth Harbour’ and given that the painting was done in 1840, shows very little development of the area. The painting is signed by James George Philp. The watercolour is mounted, framed and glazed. The frame is made of gilded wood. Condition is very good with little fading of age.

James George Philp was born in 1815 according to an entry in the Dissenting Deputies Register birth details at Dr Williams' Library, London. His parents were Henry and Elizabeth Philp of Falmouth, where he lived throughout his life. The first notice of this artist from Falmouth, is as a winner of the First Prize in the 2nd Class of oil paintings at the Royal Cornwall Painters Society Show in Falmouth, during its first Annual Exhibition in 1834, for Marine Views from Pendennis. In 1835, he equalled the former success with another oil painting, a View of St Michael's Mount and won the Bronze Medal. He became not only a notable prize winner, but later one of the main exhibition judges for the annual shows. He was also known as a stationer, printer and publisher.

In 1836 the Philp family moved to Bristol, then in 1846 to London, where James had nine works selected for the Royal Academy. By the time of the 1841 census, his father had died and he is listed as an artist living with his mother and siblings at Penwerris Row, Budock. By 1851, he is listed as an artist painter, living at 14 Erisey Terrace, Falmouth, along with his mother and sister, Mary, who is listed as a 19-year-old teacher of drawing. He married Mary Jane Powell at Clifton in 1861, which was the year he made a tour of Wales. He was also in Wales in 1863. 1881 found him living at Woodlane Crescent, Falmouth with his wife and son George, and also his mother-in-law and a niece. He became an Associate of National Watercolourists Society, in 1856 and a full member in 1863. He exhibited a total of 347 works at Society exhibitions. Much of his work in watercolours depicts coastal scenes around Cornwall, with shipping, fishing folk and the coastline.

Size image: 24.5 x 13.5 cm (9 5/8 x 5 ¼ inches)
Size frame: 41.5 x 31.5 cm (15 7/8 x 12 3/8 inches)
Weight: 905 g