A DISTANT VIEW OF LONDON & ST PAUL'S
Watercolour with pencil & scratching out
15 x 30.8cm
Collection of Bill Thomson, Albany Gallery
The distinctive rendering of the foliage in the foreground and the cattle and figure are typical of Thales Fielding's finest works, and are highly similar to the technique used by his brother Newton Smith Fielding. They also demonstrate the influence of Bonnington and Shotter Boys, with whom the artist was well acquainted from his time in Paris. The present work can be closely compared to Sunset near the Mouth of the Cuckmere, sold at Bonham's, Oxford, 03.10.2012, Lot 90; as well as Distant View of Grenwich Hospital, sold at Wright Marshall, Knutsford, 20.01.2015, Lot 1012.
Thales Fielding was the fourth son of Nathan Theodore Fielding, and brother of the renowned Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, Newton Smith Fielding, Theodore Henry Fielding and Felix Fielding. Like Copley Fielding, Thales received his first instruction in painting from his father, a landscape painter who worked in both oils and watercolour.
Thales exhibited with the Old Watercolour Society (O.W.S.) from 1810, becoming an associate member in 1829, and at the R.A. from 1816 onwards. He lived primarily in the Fielding family home in Newman Street for the majority of his career, except for a period spent in Paris from c.1823-1827. While in Paris, Thales - together with his brothers Newton and Theodore - established a successful atelier, and lived for a time in the same house as the young Delacroix. He exhibited a portrait of Delacroix to the Royal Academy upon his return to Britain. Thales also made several prints after marine works by Richard Parkes Bonnington, who he presumably met in Paris.
He returned to London to take over the family's main artistic practice and was soon thereafter made Drawing Master at the Royal Marine Academy, Woolwich, in 1836. he died at just 44, which might explain the paucity of his works to appear at auction in recent years by comparison to his brothers.
His subjects are most often landscapes of England and Wales, as well as then-popular 'cattle' subjects; though he also painted figure studies and occasionally classical or literary subjects. Today his works can be found in the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum among others.