WATERCOLOUR STUDY FOR 'NEPTUNE'S HORSES'

Original watercolour with pencil, depicting the god Neptune astride a wave of seaborne horses. 18 x 26cm. Framed and glazed. The picture is in excellent, clean condition with fresh, bright colours.

A beautifully rendered study by Walter Crane for his most famous painting, 'Neptune's Horses'. Greatly influenced by the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Crane, alongside his friend William Morris, was one of the leading artists and designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement, as well as one of the pre-eminent children's book illustrators of the age. Suggested to him by the sight of Atlantic waves breaking on a beach at Wauwinet, Nantucket in 1892, Crane's depiction of Neptune, the Roman god of both the sea and horses, riding above the waters on a magnificent wave of his equine companions, stands as one of the most admired Symbolist paintings by a British artist. The present study, with the horses and waves seamlessly merging into one unified force of unstoppable, majestic, rolling momentum, certainly exemplifies the qualities most admired in his final oil painting. This earlier watercolour version, however, presents a lighter, breezier composition, conveying a somewhat dreamlike quality; notably, here, the horses also still appear to have their hooves, in contrast to the finished work wherein they have morphed into the webbed feet of the mythological sea-horse, or hippocampus. Completed in 1893 and exhibited at the New Gallery that year, the finished work now resides in the collection of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. Provenance: The Cyril and Shirley Fry Collection.

Stock code: 20649

£3,250

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Illustrator:

CRANE, Walter

Published:

[Original Artwork].
1893

Category

Children's / Illustrated
Original Artwork
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