Castle ruins with waterfall and mountain scenery. Circa 1845.
[English school, probably 1843-45]. Oil on board, 315 x 250 mm, unsigned; unframed; aside from some wear at the corners, the painting is in good condition, well preserved under the original layers of varnish; verso with the stencilled mark of London artists’ suppliers Dimes & Elam, 91 Great Russell Street.
This atmospheric landscape painting, which was perhaps done from life, was painted by a highly competent English artist who unfortunately remains unidentified. (We searched in vain for the initials ‘JMWT’ ….). However, the work can be dated with some degree of certainty owing to the fact that Dimes & Elam’s business partnership lasted only a little over two years, from March 1843 to October 1845. While the earliest date for the painting is therefore 1843 the artist could, of course, have used the board some time after the board manufacturers went out of business.
The following trade information is provided by the National Portrait Gallery’s British artists’ suppliers, 1650-1950:
‘In quick order, the Cowen & Waring partnership at 91 Great Russell St went through several transformations, as George Waring in 1837, Waring & Dimes 1839, Dimes & Co 1842, Dimes & Elam 1843 and Frederick Dimes 1846.
Dimes & Elam: A further partnership, that of Dimes & Elam, had an account with Roberson, March 1843 (Woodcock 1997). It advertised in September 1843, featuring canvas prepared with India rubber grounds, moist watercolours, Turnbull’s drawing boards, Rand’s patent collapsible tube filled with oil colours (The Art-Union September 1843 p.252). Subsequent advertisements featured fresco colours (January 1844 p.25), Pyne’s MacGuelp, ‘so strongly recommended by Mr. Pyne in the Art-Union for July’ (August 1844 p.202) and reduced price oil colours and canvases (June 1845 p.200), the price reductions perhaps a prelude to the dissolution of the partnership between Frederick Dimes and George Elam, which was reported later that year (London Gazette 7 October 1845).’ (National Portrait Gallery, British artists’ suppliers, 1650-1950)