A Backwater. Keeley Halswelle ARSA, RI 1832-1891. Oil on panel; 5 ¼ x 9 inches.” Courtesy of the Maas Gallery. Click on image to enlarge it.

Maas Gallery Commentary

Halswelle was brought up in Richmond, Surrey, but he began his career in Edinburgh and did not exhibit at the Royal Academy in London until he was 30. After his marriage in 1861, and a trip to Italy in search of commercial subjects, he painted continental scenes and Scottish landscapes. During six summers in the 1880s, whilst living in a houseboat on the Thames, Halswelle made hundreds of plein air sketches, many of which have ended up in the V&A and the National Gallery. These two have escaped, and may have been part of the exhibition at the Old Bond Street gallery in 1884, which showed some 80 pictures of Thames scenery. The Art Journal of the same year praised Halswelle’s ‘sense of reality and outdoor life which is often wanting in his confrères ... It is around Sonning and Pangbourne that Mr Halswelle has found his best inspirations, and entered most fully into the spirit of the place and the special attributes of Thames scenery.’

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Last modified 28 June 2022