Eglise St. Jacques, Compiegne, France

Eglise St. Jacques, Compiegne, France



Thomas Shotter Boys (1803-1874)
Eglise St. Jacques, Compiegne, France

Watercolour over pencil with bodycolour, stopping out and scratching out
27.9 by 19.9 cm., 11 by 8 in.

The Hon. Annabel Crewe, later Lady Houghton (1814-1874), Crewe Hall, Cheshire;
Anonymous sale, Christie's, 24th June 1983, lot 104;
By descent to the present owner

Beaconsfield, David Messum, Pupil and Painter - a study of Thomas Shotter Boys at Crewe Hall, 7th to 20th June 1980

James Roundell, Thomas Shotter Boys - Pupil and Painter, exhibition catalogue, 1980, ill.

This is one of twelve watercolours by Boys discovered in an album bearing the bookplate of Crewe Hall and exhibited by David Messum in 1980. Boys gave drawing lessons to the Hon. Annabel Crewe, the daughter of John, 2nd Baron Crewe (1772-1835) in around 1850. Two other watercolours from this group were sold at Sotheby's on 6th July 2016, lots 312 and 320. Boys left London for Paris in the early 1820s, to pursue a career as an engraver. He had been apprenticed to George Cook (1781-1834), one of the most successful engravers of the period and the popularity of the medium in Paris, must have made it an attractive location for the young artist. However, once in Paris, Boys met Richard Parkes Bonington (see cat. no.22), whose innovative and dynamic watercolour style inspired him to change tack and concentrate instead on watercolour painting. Boys remained in France until 1837. Compiègne is about 50 miles north-east of Paris on the river Oise.