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Nicholas Pocock O.W.S. (1740-1821) - Bristol Cathedral and the Quay from Wapping
  • Nicholas Pocock O.W.S. (1740-1821) - Bristol Cathedral and the Quay from Wapping

    This is one of six etched and aquatinted views by Pocock of Bristol that we currently have in stock. David Cordingly in his book on the artist mentions that Pocock 'undertook a series of eight aquatint engravings of Bristol views. The first of the views to be published was the picture of Bristol harbour looking towards the Cathedral; this was inscribed 'Published by N. Pocock, Princes Street, Bristol. Dec 31st 1782.' The remainder were issued between 1782 and 1801. The aquatint engravings were popular and seem to have sold well.' [1] Although Pocock did produce different impressions of the aquatint, it is clear the works were undertaken at least until 1813 and not 1801 as Cordingly suggested. This is most likley because they continued to prove popular with the public and also they would have been a good and easy source of income for the artist. Later impressions of the aquatints tend to be 'heavier in tone' with stronger etching lines. [2] Interestingly, the early  etchings were not aquatinted and the watercolour was fully added by Pocock himself with exemplary care. The etching lines often can be mistaken as pen and ink. 'From 1786 versions appear with aquatint added to assit the modelling and shading. This printed base can be very much more obvious but it was still Pocock himself who added the watercolour.' [3] 


    This work depicts 'Bristol Cathedral and the Quay from Wapping' by Pocock. It's a very busy maritime scene that is typical of Pocock's skill in this genre. Our etching and aquatint is dated 1803 and is a good example of this technique. Pocock has then painted in watercolour washes to finish the picture. The City of Bristol Art Gallery and Museums has an earlier impression that has interestingly only be etched from 1782 for comparison. [4]


    Medium: watercolour on paper, signed lower centre 'NP 1803', 24.5 x 37cm, framed.


    Provenance: Alexander Gallery, Bristol (sold 7/7/82 - label verso).




    [1] David Cordingly, 'Nicholas Pocock 1740-1821', Conway Maritime Press Ltd: Oxford, 1986, pp. 39-40.


    [2] Francis Greenacre, 'Marine Artists of Bristol: Nicholas Pocock and Joseph Walter', City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery exhibition catalogue: Bristol, 1982, p.45.


    [3] Ibid., p.44.


    [4] Ibid., see pages 44 and 46, plate 22.


    Condition report: some general time staining and fading. There are a couple of small marks in the sky. The frame has some wear.

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