Benjamin Barker of Bath (Attributed)

A Goat By A Waterfall

Benjamin Barker of Bath (Attributed)

A Goat By A Waterfall

This early 19th-century watercolour by British artist Benjamin Barker of Bath (1776-1838) depicts a goat by a waterfall.

Tumbling over the crags and brutal rocks, water gushes with considerable force. It’s a zig-zagging authority of unbridled strength - the natural world demonstrating its infinite sublimity. While the Autumnal trees stretch and retreat, almost terrified by the irrepressible falls.

Benjamin Barker of Bath began his career in a frenzy and never looked back. His father, an aspiring artist, fell on hard times and, together with his brother, Thomas, young Benjamin had to learn fast. As a boy, he’d fill his cottage windows with little pictures in the style of the Old Masters, teasing the eye of passing tourists. These gained popularity and, in many ways, underpinned his career.

Here, we see a picturesque view transformed with a sense of rugged mysticism. It could be anywhere, but it’s probably local to Bath. It’s reminiscent of two works he produced for W. Everitt, which were published in aquatint. These were described as ‘A Scene At Hampton, Near Bath’ and ‘Hampton Cliffs’. The British Museum holds examples.

Barker could turn his hand to various old master styles but was perhaps most at home when painting craggy topography elevated with romantic sensibilities. The general notion is that nature, in its most sublime, is awe-inspiring.

And perhaps, much like the baffled goat depicted in the foreground, we’re all just pawns in its spiral of chaos.

Inscribed on the reverse, monogrammed ‘BB’ and held within a later frame.

Medium: Watercolour on paper
Overall size: 23½” x 30½” / 60cm x 77cm
Year of creation: c. 1825
Labels & Inscriptions: Inscription with attribution on the reverse under frame.
Condition: Artwork presents well. A few marks. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £9,000

Benjamin Barker of Bath (Attributed)

Benjamin Barker of Bath (Attributed)

Benjamin Barker of Bath exhibited at the Royal Academy, Old Watercolour Society and the British Institution. His works are held in numerous public collections including at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Eton College, Government Art Collection, National Museum Wales, National Trust for Scotland, National Trust, The Courtauld, Victoria Art Gallery, V&A Museum, and the Yale Center For British Art.

Learn more about Benjamin Barker of Bath (Attributed) in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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