Mystery location – Boulogne or Rouen?

June 29, 2022
‘Boulogne Fishmarket’ (1886) by Eyre Crowe A.R.A

The current owner of this vibrant watercolour painting has recently been kind enough to share the image and the details of its provenance with me. ‘Boulogne Fishmarket‘ was known to me only from a scant line in a Royal Academy exhibition catalogue. In 1922 it was part of an ‘Exhibition of Works by Recently Deceased Members of the Royal Academy’ (Eyre Crowe had in fact died in 1910) and was owned by a Reginald Gurney Esq. It was purchased from a Norwich art dealer in 1938 and has remained in the family ever since.

A busy fish market in a French town is depicted, with all the detail, action and humour to be expected of an Eyre Crowe image. He was a prolific sketcher and at least some of the people were probably drawn from life and would have been recognisable to their community.

Curiously, although the watercolour is clearly signed and dated ‘E. Crowe 1886’, the details of the scene correspond exactly with the review description of ‘Fish Market, Rouen‘, an oil painting exhibited at the Royal Academy two years earlier, in 1884. The watercolour seems to be a later copy of the oil painting.

The watercolour does not bear a title itself, so it seems likely that it was mis-interpreted as showing Boulogne sometime between 1884 and its exhibition in 1922. Is it really Rouen? Are there any experts on late-19th century northern France who could settle the question?


Sir Brian Crowe (1938-2020)

March 23, 2021

Today is, sadly, the first anniversary of the death of Sir Brian Crowe. He was a great-great nephew of Eyre Crowe, being descended from Eyre Crowe’s brother Sir Joseph Archer Crowe. Brian followed his father, grandfather and great-grandfather in pursuing a career in diplomacy. He had a great sense of history, and enabled myself and other researchers to discover more about his family by donating his collection of papers relating to his grandfather, Sir Eyre A. Crowe (1864-1925) to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. He also gave a series of drawings and correspondence of Eyre Crowe to the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

I was privileged enough to meet Brian and his late wife Virginia on two occasions. He was extremely interested in my work to discover more about the artist Eyre Crowe, and I am very grateful for his kind support.

An obituary published in The Guardian is free to view (The Times also published an obituary, but it is behind a paywall), and well worth a read to discover more about his life and work.


‘Forfeits’ for sale, estimate $12,000-$18,000

October 4, 2019

'Forfeits' by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1880)

‘Forfeits’ by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1880)

Eyre Crowe’s 1880 genre work, Forfeits, is for sale at Christie’s in New York on 28 October 2019. The higher estimate, compared to other recent sales of Crowe’s work, probably reflects the charm, colour and quality of the scene. Ornate, wealthy interiors are rarely seen in Crowe’s paintings, although the arrangement of the figures in a line across the picture is a familiar technique.


‘An Old Nag is a Sly Nag’ sold at auction

September 20, 2019

'An Old Nag Is A Sly Nag' by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1883)

‘An Old Nag Is A Sly Nag’ by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1883)

‘An Old Nag is a Sly Nag’, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1883, has recently sold in an online auction hosted by an auction house in Stockholm, Sweden.


Brothers of the Brush (1873)

December 20, 2018

Engraving of 'Brothers of the Brush' (1873) by Eyre Crowe

This print based on Eyre Crowe’s 1873 Royal Academy painting Brothers of the Brush (1873) by Eyre Crowe was recently kindly shared with me by a private owner. This remarkably modern-looking composition was praised by contemporary critics, but the current whereabouts of the original painting is sadly not known.


Sales and purchases in the last few years

April 20, 2018

I have been slow in updating this site recently, so here is an overview of what has been occurring in the world of Eyre Crowe’s artworks:

I was alerted to the publication in The Daily Graphic of a brief letter from Eyre Crowe and a sketch of steeplejacks repairing the steeple of Bromsgrove parish church. The item is listed under the title After The Great Gale: Repairing a Steeple (1891).

Steeple Repair 19 Nov 1891

‘After the Great Gale: Repairing a Steeple’ by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1891)

Dr Johnson receiving Boswell in the Library (1899) has been purchased by a delighted private collector in Vancouver, Canada.

Landscape with stream and figures: The Lovers (1880) was auctioned in Texas in 2016 under the title ‘Courting’.

The owner of The meeting of Louis XI and Edward IV on the Bridge of Pecquigny (1855) has been kind enough to supply with a photograph of this fantastic painting, which is one of Eyre Crowe’s earliest large works.

The meeting of Louis XI and Edward IV at Pecquery

‘The Meeting of Louis IX and Edward IV on the Bridge of Pecquigny’ by Eyre Crowe (1855)

Finally, three separate sets of sketches attributed to Eyre Crowe have come up for sale through various auction houses:

  • Three Figure Studies (19 April 1901 and n.d.). Medium: charcoal and pencil heightened with white. Size: largest 47 x 22 cm. Offered by Bellmans Auctioneers and Valuers, Billingshurst, West Sussex, 5 March 2018 (Lot 1071)
  • Eight sketches by Eyre Crowe, from the collection of Judith Adelman. Medium: pen and ink, pencil and wash. Size: various, largest 17 x 13 inches. Advertised in Weekly Internet Rare Books and Autographs Auctions #201537 by Heritage Auctions, 3-10 Sep 2015 (lot 92359)
  • Fifteen Figure Studies in Two Frames (various dates). Medium: pen, ink and washes. Size: smallest 10 x 3 cm, largest 17 x 27 cm. Attributed to Eyre Crowe and offered for sale by Cuttlestone’s auctioneers, Penkridge, Fine Art and Antiques Sale, 23-24 Nov 2017 (Lot 61). However, the style of the sketches is not exactly reminiscent of Eyre Crowe’s work, and none are signed by him (as was his usual practise), so I doubt the attribution.

Thank you to all the owners who have contacted me about Eyre Crowe pictures – it is always fascinating to hear about paintings and sketches in private hands.


Rare opportunity to buy an original Eyre Crowe oil painting

February 27, 2018

'Drawing Lots For The Guelph Succession' by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1896), image from Cuttlestones Auctioneers online sale catalogue, 2018

‘Drawing Lots For The Guelph Succession’ by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1896), image from Cuttlestones Auctioneers online sale catalogue, 2018

‘Drawing Lots For The Guelph Succession at Celle’ (1896) will appear in an auction of Fine Arts and Antiques at Penkridge Auction Rooms on 8 March 2018. It is being sold by Cuttlestones Auctioneers at the reserve price of £2,400.

The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1896, and in the autumn of the same year was shown at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. It was presumably sold around the same time, and disappeared into private hands until the death of its owner in 2014. By autumn 2016 it was owned by art dealer Brian Saunders, of Saunders Fine Art, who displayed it at the LAPADA and Olympia art shows.

Eyre Crowe returned in old age to the kind of historical scenes that had made his name in the 1860s, and liked to feel that he had done his research and presented historically accurate details. He visited Celle in the late summer of 1895 and undoubtedly sketched some of the details of the room there.

The online sale catalogue for the painting includes some further images, including close-ups of Crowe’s signature and the information on the gilt frame.

 

 

 


A chance to buy an Eyre Crowe sketch

May 18, 2017

young-woman-in-profile

‘Young Woman in Profile’ by Eyre Crowe, n.d. (image from auction catalogue, Franklin Browns, Edinburgh, 20 May 2017)

A small sketch of a woman wearing a hat is being auctioned on 20 May by Franklin Browns of Edinburgh. See the auctioneers’ page http://franklinbrowns.co.uk/catalogues/2017/ai200517/lot0150.html for more details.

 

 


Eyre Crowe picture up for sale again

March 1, 2016

'Doctor Johnson Receiving Boswell in the Library' by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1899)

‘Doctor Johnson Receiving Boswell in the Library’ by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1899)

After failing to sell late last year, Doctor Johnson Receiving Boswell in the Library (1899) is being offered at auction again on 16 March 2016. See details on the-saleroom.com if you are interested!


Landscape with Stream and Figures – the Lovers (1880)

December 31, 2015

Landscape with stream and figures - The Lovers (1880.)

Landscape with stream and figures – The Lovers (1880)

This oil painting on canvas has recently come to light after being in private ownership for at least 50 years. The previous owner was a world traveller and the estate contained many fine pieces – Meissen, Lalique, etc. along with other original art work.

It is a large picture – 38 x 48 inches, untitled, but signed and dated 1880. From its subject matter and size, is quite likely to be ‘Landscape with stream and figures – The Lovers’, which was sold at auction by Messrs Furber at 77 Chancery Lane, London, on 22 February 1911. This auction was a sale of Eyre Crowe’s remaining works after his death. Many of the pictures were sold for just a few shillings, indicating that most were sketches in pen or oil. However, ‘The Lovers’ sold for £1, indicating that the picture was relatively finished.

The canvas that Crowe used was bought in France – this fits with what is known of Crowe’s usual purchases of artist’s supplies.

The family of the owner are looking to sell this painting – please contact me if you are interested and I can pass your details on.