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Nicholas Condy Watercolour Painting Drake’s Island Plymouth
  • Nicholas Condy Watercolour Painting Drake’s Island Plymouth
  • Nicholas Condy Watercolour Painting Drake’s Island Plymouth
  • Nicholas Condy Watercolour Painting Drake’s Island Plymouth

Nicholas Condy Watercolour Painting Drake’s Island Plymouth

Price:

£800.00


Product Description

Artist: Nicholas Condy the Elder (1793-1857)
Title: Drake’s Island from Plymouth Hoe
Medium Watercolour (and Gouache) on thick blue Paper (textured)
Inscriptions: “Plymouth, Devon”
Provenance: Previously with Foxsmith Galleries, Plymouth
Date: c1835

This confident study of Drake’s Island in the Plymouth Sound would have been taken from the old limestone quarry at West Hoe. The site was later developed during the Victorian period, with elegant townhouses, an expansive parade and communal steam baths. The Mount Edgecumbe estate can be seen on the left, whilst the chapel at Ramehead is a small speck on the distant headland. The figures are dressed in the attire of the late Regency or early-Victorian period. It is also interesting to note that there is no stone folly on the heights above Mount Edgecumbe, a detail which would not have escaped a fastidious painter such as Condy and perhaps confirmation that the ruins were built later than is often thought.

Nicholas Condy the Elder (1793-1857) was an English marine and landscape painter, born in Torpoint, the small Cornish town overlooking Plymouth Dockyard across the narrow Hamoaze. He was gazetted to the 43rd regiment as an ensign in 1811 and went on to serve in the Peninsular War; leaving as a lieutenant in 1818. On his return to Plymouth, Condy devoted his efforts to painting, chiefly producing small watercolours, which he would sell at prices ranging from 15 shillings to 1 guinea. Between 1830 and 1845 he exhibited twice at the Royal Academy, four times at the British Institution and once at the Suffolk Street Gallery. He was the father of the marine painter Nicholas Matthews Condy (1816-1851), whose artistic promise, came to premature end in 1851, at the age of 35. The two are often confused.

Though the painting is unsigned, the style and medium is consistent with the known works of Nicholas Condy the Elder. Another unsigned painting in the collection of the Yale Centre for British Art, entitled “Plymouth Sound from the Hoe” has been painted on an identically-sized leaf of thick textured paper. The use of brown ink to cover the preliminary pencil lines is also a peculiar touch, used in this example and the Yale painting.

The view chosen is almost identical to a painting of Drake’s Island by Philip Mitchell R.I. (1814 - 1896), which was later made into a print. Mitchell a close friend of Condy, was also member of the Plymouth Sketching Club and the two would often paint together, along with Samuel Cook (1806-1859) and Charles Locke Eastlake (1793-1865).

Size of Frame: 43 x 36.5 x 2.5cm (17 x 14¼ x 1”)
Size of Image: 25.4 x 17.5cm (10 x 6¾”)
Weight: 1516g

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