FISHING BOAT ON A RIVER, POSSIBLY NORTHERN FRANCE
Inscribed l.r. Engraved View 1830
Bears attribution to mount [by Bill Thomson] to Thomas Shotter Boys
Watercolour over pencil with scratching out
11.7 x 18.7cm
Albany Gallery, Bury Street, London
Bill Thomson (Founder of the Albany Gallery)
The present work may date to Fielding's time in Northern France, some of which he spent in the company of Richard Parkes Bonnington. The composition is similar to several of Bonnington's compact river views. The view might also be British, and Karen Taylor Fine Art previously sold a comparable work to ours, titled Windsor Castle from the Thames.
Newton Fielding was the youngest of the five artist sons of the Yorkshire painter, Nathan Theodore Fielding, of whom the best known was Copley Fielding. Probably born in London, he became apprenticed to a doctor in the capital in 1815, while exhibiting at the Society of Painters in Water Colours for the first time in the same year. Newton exhibited there for a second time in 1818 and, abandoning his doctor's articles, joined the family art business at 26 Newman Street in that year. He made his name with brightly-coloured watercolours of animals and birds in natural settings, partly inspired by the sporting tradition of the Alken family of artists. Also working as a printmaker, he produced British Game Illustrated in Twelve Spirited Etchings in 1821.
Soon after, Fielding moved to Paris to work with his brother Thales [we currently have a rare signed work by Thales in our stock] for the publisher, d’Ostervald. Through the 1820s, the brothers played an important role in disseminating the works of the Anglo-French school of watercolourists, centring on Eugène Delacroix (with whom Thales lived for a time) and Richard Parkes Bonington, then at the height of his powers. In the summer of 1824, Newton Fielding accompanied Bonington on a sketching tour of the Normandy coast.
Fielding also developed an extensive teaching practice, becoming drawing master to the family of King Louis-Philippe in 1827, and taking William Callow as a pupil in 1829 (following Callow's training under T.S. Boys). He and Callow would collaborate, with Fielding introducing figures into Callow’s landscapes.
With the 1830 Revolution, both Newton and Thales returned to London to join their brother, Theodore. Marrying a French woman in 1833, he and his wife then divided their time between Paris and London. Later illness in life encouraged Newton to return to Paris where, as an experienced drawing master, he published a series of manuals during the early 1850s