Great British Watercolors

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From the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art

Matthew Hargraves with an introduction by Scott Wilcox


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Out of Print

Paul Mellon (1907--1999) assembled one of the world’s greatest collections of British drawings and watercolors. In his memoirs he wrote of their “beauty and freshness… their immediacy and sureness of technique, their comprehensiveness of subject matter, their vital qualities, their Englishness.” This catalogue celebrating the centenary of Mellon's birth features eighty-eight outstanding watercolors from the fifty thousand works of art on paper with which he endowed the Yale Center for British Art. The selection spans the emergence of watercolor painting in the mid-18th century to its apogee in the mid-19th. These works highlight the diversity of British watercolors, showcasing both landscape and figurative works by some of the principal artists working in the medium, including Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Rowlandson, William Blake, and J. M.W. Turner.

Matthew Hargraves is a research associate in the department of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art and is the author of Candidates for Fame: The Society of Artists of Great Britain 1760-1791 (Yale).
Scott Wilcox is curator of prints and drawings at the Yale Center for British Art. His books on the Center’s collection of watercolors, prints, and drawings, include The Line of Beauty (Yale) and Papermaking and the Art of Watercolor in Eighteenth-Century Britain with Theresa Fairbanks Harris (Yale).


·         Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (July 11--September 30, 2007)

State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (October – December 2007)

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (June 10 – August 17, 2008) 

"Handsomely designed, this title offers a superb overview of the Yale Center's (for British Art) collection, the largest and most representative one of British art outside the U.K. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice
ISBN: 9780300116588
Publication Date: May 28, 2007
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Yale Center for British Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
232 pages, 9 1/2 x 11
118 color illus.
Prospects for the Nation

Recent Essays in British Landscape, 1750-1880

Edited by Michael Rosenthal, Christiana Payne, and Scott Wi

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Candidates for Fame

The Society of Artists of Great Britain 1760-1791

Matthew Hargraves

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Sun, Wind, and Rain

The Art of David Cox

Scott Wilcox

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Varieties of Romantic Experience

British, Danish, Dutch, French, and German Drawings from the Collection of Charles Ryskamp

Matthew Hargraves; With a preface by Charles Ryskamp

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The English Prize

The Capture of the Westmorland, An Episode of the Grand Tour

Edited by María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui Alpañés and Scott

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Bruce Davidson/Paul Caponigro

Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland

Jennifer A. Watts and Scott Wilcox

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