Cottage at Barford, Churt, Surrey

Cottage at Barford, Churt, Surrey



George James Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle was an aristocrat, Liberal politician, artist. He was a friend and important patron to a number of artists in the Pre-Raphaelite circle, being particularly close to Burne-Jones. As well as Naworth Castle near Carlisle and Castle Howard in Yorkshire, he lived at 1 Palace Green, Kensington, a house designed from him by Philip Webb and decorated by Burne-Jones and William Morris. Although largely self taught he did study for a while at Leigh’s under Alphonse Legros before meeting Giovanni Costa in 1866 and deciding to further his studies in Italy, working alongside Costa executing plein air watercolours of the Etruscan landscape. He exhibited at the Dudley Gallery from 1867 and also showed at the Grosvenor Gallery and New Gallery. As well as taking his subject matter from his family and friends and familiar haunts in Britain and his beloved Italy he travelled extensively producing watercolours and the occasional oil painting of Egypt, India, North Africa and elsewhere. Works by Howard are in many public collections including the Tate Gallery, York Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Ashmolean Museum and the British Library as well as a large collection at Castle Howard. He died in 1911. The present picture of a couple working in the garden of a cottage near Churt was painted c.1900. In 1889, Gilbert Murray, the Australian born classical scholar and public intellectual had married George Howard’s daughter, Lady Mary Henrietta Howard. In 1895 the formidable Lady Howard paid for the building of Barford Court, near Churt where the couple lived until 1905. This watercolour would have been executed while the Howards were visiting their daughter and son-in-law at nearby Barford Court. A fragmented label on the reverse of the frame suggests that this picture was in the collection of Lady Mary until she in turn gifted it.


Height 90.17 cm / 35 "
Width 64.77 cm / 25 "