FIGURES IN A REDWOOD COPSE, WITH A DISTANT MANOR HOUSE & RIVER
Dated l.r. 1866
Chalks on tinted paper
15 x 21cm
Henry bright was the son of a clockmaker and was apprenticed at first to a chemist in nearby Norwich. His indentures were transferred to the artist Alfred Stannard, though he also took lessons from John Berney Crome and John Sell Cotman. He was a very gifted watercolourist and his style developed beyond the Norwich School manner he learnt from its greatest practicioners.
He moved to London following his training and from 1836-1858 built up a hugely succesful practice as a drawing teacher to wealthy and well-connected patrons. During this time he exhibited at the New Watercolour Society and the Graphic Society, and sold at least one work to Queen Victoria. He returned to his hometown of Saxmundham in 1858, before moving to Redhill, possibly Maidstone later and finally settled in Ipswich.
Bright made regular sketching tours around Britain and the continent, visiting many of England's counties including Cornwall and Cumberland, Wales, Scotland, the aforementioned trips to the Alps and Rhine, and Paris. He developed strong friendships with the leading artists of the day including J. M. W. Turner and David Cox. Like a number of his peers he also collaborated with other artists such as John Frederick Herring and William Shayer, with Bright providing the landscape backgrounds to their works. Bright's particular gift was for depicting light, in particular moonlight, in his later works (such as this) often using tinted papers and crayon, pastel or bodycolour to achieve his effects.