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Nicholas Pocock O.W.S. (1740-1821) - View of Clifton Wood from Sea Banks
  • Nicholas Pocock O.W.S. (1740-1821) - View of Clifton Wood from Sea Banks

    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 depicting a 'View of Clifton Wood from Sea Banks' is clearly etched with aquatint. Pocock has then finished the picture with watercolour himself. 'Sea Banks, the meadow in the foreground bordering on Canons' Marsh, was soon to be developed for boat building. The large glass-house at the bottom of Jacobs Wells Road and Limekiln Lane was known as Childs Glass House. Immediately beyond it was Limekiln Dock, not visible in this view, which was a dock of seventeenth-century origin that continued in use until the early years of this century.


    Above the glass-house many of the Georgian houses still survive today. Most obvious are Thomas Goldney's colonnaded rotunda and his tower, built in 1764 to house a steam-engine to pump water to the grotto and fountains of his fine garden. The largest house to the right is Clifton Hill House completed in 1750 to the design of Isaac Ware.' [4]


    Medium: watercolour on paper, signed l.r. 'N. Pocock 1813', 24 x 36cm, framed.


    Provenance: Alexander Gallery, Bristol (sold 15/7/82, stock number 5992 - 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., p. 38.


    Condition report: some time fading and small marks obvious in the sky. Generally very good for its age. Some wear to the frame.

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