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Sporting Art, Fishing, Salmon & Pike, Henry Alken, 3 Antique Prints, 1820

$750

Henry Alken (1785-1851) (after)
John Heaviside Clark (c. 1771-1863) (aquatint engraver)
Fishing in a Punt
Pike Fishing
Salmon Fishing

from The National Sports of Great Britain
Thomas McLean, London: January 1, 1820
Hand-colored aquatints
11 x 15 inches, sight size in mat
16.25 x 20.25 inches, framed
$750 each, framed
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Three prints of various English gentlemen fishing in pastoral surroundings. All are elegantly dressed in coats and top hats. Fishing in a Punt shows three men in a rowboat fishing with rods in calm waters, their boat tied to two posts, with a country estate on a hilltop in the distance. In Pike Fishing, one man stands on the edge of the embankment at a bend in a river holding a rod, while his companion lies prone on the ground, holding a net. A pair of trees anchors the composition on the right. Salmon Fishing shows three men with rods on a rocky shoreline leaning intently over the water as if watching for fish. A waterfall and castle are in the distance. Each print is accompanied by text explaining how the fish are caught, where in the British Isles they may be found and references to aristocratic Englishmen who have practiced the methods being demonstrated. These are the three fishing prints that were part of the series The National Sports of Great Britain, 50 color plates that also included depictions of hawking, hunting, equestrian sports and other sporting subjects.

Description

Henry Thomas Alken was a painter and engraver, son of the artist Samuel Alken. He worked in London and the provinces and was prolific in a variety of media, including painting, etching and watercolor. Trained as a miniature painter, his works always had a graphic precision. He is known for hunting, coaching, racing and other animal subjects, a large number of which were rendered as prints. Some of his works were straightforward renditions of sporting events, while others were caricatures affectionately lampooning the British upper classes. He was also employed by sporting periodicals as an illustrator and provided plates for the National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821), “strengthening the market for his work in sporting circles, in particular the notorious clique of wealthy and reckless huntsmen who gathered at Melton Mowbray, Leicester” (Grove Dictionary of Art). His works are in the collections of the Courtauld Institute of Art, the British National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Gallery.

John Heaviside Clark was a British painter of maritime subjects and landscapes, a draftsman, and an aquatint engraver. Born in Scotland, he worked in London for 30 years beginning in 1802, and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1812 and 1832. He then worked in Edinburgh, where he remained for the rest of his life. Clark’s sketches made on site directly after the Battle of Waterloo earned him the nickname “Waterloo Clark.” He frequently collaborated with the aquatint engraver Matthew Dubourg and often worked for the London publishers Edward Orme and Thomas McLean. Clark authored and illustrated instructional works on landscape painting in watercolor in 1807 and 1827, aimed at amateur artists seeking to create mementos of their travels. During the 1820s, he also designed entertaining novelties published by Samuel Leigh: the miniature Portable Diorama; two myrioramas, boxed sets of cards each printed with part of a landscape that could arranged in any order to form a continuous panorama; and, according to Redgrave, the celestial card set Urania’s Mirror.

Thomas McLean (1788-1875) owned a printing firm publishing a range of works during the mid 19th century, especially sporting, humor, satire and political caricatures, as separately issued prints and in periodicals such as the Monthly Sheet of Caricatures. McLean published and sold collections of humorous illustrations by Henry Alken, George Cruikshank and Edward Lear, as well as portraits and collections of landscape prints such as J.D. Harding’s The Park and the Forest (1841). Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has at least 195 portrait prints published by McLean.

Full publication information: Fishing in a Punt. Henry Alken del’t. I. Clark sculp’t. London, Published by T. McLean Jan’y 1, 1820.

Condition: Each very good with the usual overall light toning, wear. Presented in English sporting art wood frames (c. 1950s) with raised gilt decoration at the inner and outer edge and gilt rococo decoration at the corners. Framed in French mats, and with glass back to show associated text sheet. Frames with the usual overall wear, abrasions, including some minor losses to rococo decoration.

References:

Bentley, Charles.The Grove Dictionary of Art.New York: Macmillan. 2000.Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/00/0079/T007985.asp (15 November 2004).

“Henry Thomas Alken.”The Grove Dictionary of Art.New York: Macmillan. 2000.Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/00/0018/T001856.asp (10 May 2002).

Huhtamo, Erkki. “Peristrephic pleasures: on the origins of the moving panorama.” in Fullerton, John and Jan Olsson, eds. Allegories of Communication: Intermedial Concerns from Cinema to the Digital. Indiana University Press, 2004. pp. 216 and 236 (Clark). Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=ABf4XCG4Hz0C&pg=PA236 (3 July 2014).

“John Heaviside Clark.” British Museum. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?people=129162&peoA=129162-2-60 (3 July 2014).

Redgrave, Samuel.A Dictionary of Artists of the English School: Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Engravers and Ornamentists. London: Longmans, Green, and Col., 1874. p. 81 (Clark).

“Thomas McLean.”National Portrait Gallery. 21 April 2005. http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp62465&role=art (18 November 2010).

Additional information

Century

19th Century