ANFO, NEAR LAGO D'ISEO, ITALY
Titled & dated l.l. 22 September 1838
Pencil heightened with bodycolour on tinted paper
25.5 x 35.5 cm
Oliver was near Anfo on the 20th of September in 1838, drawing a view titled Nr. Lovere, Distant View of Val Camonica & Lago d'Iseo (sold Martel Maides, St Peter's Port, Guernsey, Fine Art Sale, 20.03.2013, Lot 495).
William Oliver first exhibited in 1829 at the Society of British Artists. He was a founder member of the New Water Colours Society (N.W.S.) in 1834. His preferred sketching sites were in the Pyrenees and in France; although he made occasional trips to Italy, as evidenced by the present subject. He exhibited in oils as well as watercolours, showing at the R.A. from 1835-1853 and at the British Institution. He published in 1842 a folio of Scenery of the Pyrenees, lithographed by George Barnard, Thomas Shotter Boys, Carl Hughe, and others.
Oliver's style as a draftsman is indebted to James Duffield Harding, who took on many pupils in his career as well as producing a number of instructive manuals. It is not known whether Oliver studied under Harding directly or picked up his manner independently; however comparison between Oliver and Edward Lear at the time of the present work's execution (1838) demonstrates the affinities that both young artists had for the more established Duffield Harding.
Oliver's works can be found in the Oppé collection in the Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum, the Royal Collections trust, the Russell-Cotes Gallery, the Sheffield & Sunderland Museums.