Collection Online

Horses bathing in the sea
1900

Artist/s name
Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
152.9 x 306.5 cm
Accession Number
93-2
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1900
© Estate of Lucy Kemp-Welch
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Colourmen

Colourman
SMITH
Location
Twice on reverse of canvas, in bottom left and top right quadrants.
Transcription
JOHN BRYCE SMITH/117, HAMPSTEAD RD/LONDON, N.W
Medium
Ink stencils
More information
National Portrait Gallery

Frame

Lucy KEMP-WELCH
Horses bathing in the sea 1900
Framemaker
Dolman
London
Date
1900
Materials

The frame is made from an assemblage of solid oak sections, which have been machined to form the base profile. The slip is made from soft wood. The corners are mitred and joined with screws to facilitate being taken apart. Additional re-enforcement with blocks on the reverse has secured the corners. The surface of the greater part of the profile is gold leaf gilded directly to the oak, allowing the grain to show through. The outer section and working edge are water gilded on a white ground. The slip carries burnished water gilding on a red bole.

Condition

The frame is largely original throughout. The surface is worn and probably shows a more enhanced sense of wood grain structure than was originally intended. The inner edge, which supports the slip has, in the past, cracked from the pressure of being forced forward.

Dimensions
191.5 x 347.0 x 14.0 cm; sight 151.0 x 305.0 cm
More information
National Portrait Gallery
Lucy KEMP-WELCH
Horses bathing in the sea 1900
About

The frame is a well crafted example of a very large-scale gilded oak frame. The profile is classical in form but the surface treatment is characteristic of the finishes associated with Watts, Maddox-Brown, Rossetti and others. Gilding direct to oak was celebrated by Charles Lock Eastlake in the mid nineteenth century.1 The maker is identified from an entry in the artist’s diary, 21 March 1900: frame came from Dolman 2/8 (£2.8s), got it set up.2 The frame is a type preferred by Sir Hubert von Herkomer.3 A different profile with the same finish can be seen on Herkomer’s portrait of Queen Victoria (397.2-1), also in the NGV collection.

Notes

1 Eastlake provided advice to the National Gallery of Victoria in its formative years. Other well crafted frames with gilding direct to the oak are on Frank Dicksee’s The crisis, 1891 (p.396.2-1) and William Rothenstein, Aliens at prayer, 1905 (261-2).

2 Cited in: Linda Waters’ ‘A Close examination of Horses Bathing in the Sea’, Art Bulletin of Victoria, vol. 39, footnote 5, 1998.

3 For notes on Herkomer’s frames and, in particular, a frame very similar in profile to this one, see Jacob Simon, The Art of the Picture Frame, National Portrait Gallery of Victoria, London, 1996, pp. 106, 108.