This Picture is Framed (one only)
Framed Size: 43.5cm H x 47.5cm W
Limited Edition: Certificate Included, 28/195
English watercolourist. Baptised Hercules Brabazon Sharpe, the son of landed gentry, he inherited the family estates in 1847 and 1858, which occasioned a legal change in his surname. From that date Brabazon dedicated himself to watercolour, living in Sussex during part of the year and travelling annually on the Continent, especially to the Alps and the Mediterranean. He also visited Africa, India and the Middle East in the 1860s and 1870s and produced thousands of landscapes during his career. Brabazon studied briefly with James D'Egville (d 1880) and Alfred Downing Fripp (1822–95), but he was largely a self-taught amateur, learning from his contemporaries and from the Old Masters, particularly Velázquez, whose works he copied. His broad style is closest to early 19th-century plein-air painters. Ruskin and D. S. MacColl praised Brabazon as Turner's rival as a colourist. Brabazon's watercolours link the impressionistic fluid technique of early 19th-century painters to the work of progressive English artists of the fin-de-siècle, influenced by Whistler and the French.
The Distant Town (c.1875) briskly represents an unknown Tuscan city from a nearby hill, and seems to demonstrate that belabored realist detail or fussy impressionist brushwork are kinds of artistic stammering, obsessively distorting what is actually a seamless and airy envelope of perception. Using his favorite colored paper, prewetted to diffuse and mingle the brushstrokes as they are applied, Brabazon invokes the enveloping warmth of a hazy Italian afternoon. Depth is established by the clump of foreground bushes, scratched in with burnt umber, contrasted against the snowy semaphore of distant peaks.