AN ITALIANATE CAPRICCIO VIEW OVER A LAKE
Watercolour with scratching out
27 x 36cm
Although very little is known about William Crouch’s life, the number of surviving works suggest a prolific and successful commercial practice. His watercolours are usually worked on a small scale and it is particularly rare to find them signed.
Crouch’s forte was the Arcadian capriccio landscape, filled with archaeological elements and classical edifices, usually with a warm light like that of Varley. They filled a niche provided by the 19th century British fashion for the antique and for European travel on a larger scale than the previous century. Between 1830 and 1850, many of these watercolours were engraved for appearances in annuals and periodicals. They included ‘View in the Campagna’, which appeared in the annual ‘Friendship’s Offering’ for 1841, accompanied by John Ruskin’s poem, ‘The Departed Light’.