Edward Williams

Landscape With Watermill & Boy Fishing

Edward Williams

Landscape With Watermill & Boy Fishing

This early 19th-century oil painting by British artist Edward Williams (1782-1855) depicts a rugged landscape with a watermill, stream and figures.

On the right, the sound of an old mill provides a continuous backdrop. It turns, grinding grain into flour, in an age-old tradition. While on the left, a horseback rider provides the gateway to a long view towards a distant church. Two further figures walk through fields.

As a boy, Williams would’ve explored the landscape around London, stopping to witness various mills at work - sitting to sketch before returning home. Perhaps also undertaking a spot of fishing. As his career progressed, he continued to venture into the countryside seeking views that echoed those of the 17th-century Dutch masters.

Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709) was a particular inspiration and it’s interesting to compare his interpretation of a watermill here: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/SK-A-156

Many of ‘Old Williams’ works are based upon earlier Dutch models and he probably had access to numerous etchings and engravings. Much like Hobbema, Williams’ describes the trees with a stippling effect, which brings life and a variety of tones. Note also the sparkling white on the mill’s roof tiles.

Williams’ adoration for nature was passed down to six of his sons, who all became accomplished painters in their own right.

Housed in a later frame.

Medium: Oil on panel
Overall size: 23” x 20½” / 58cm x 52cm
Year of creation: c. 1830
Labels & Inscriptions: Name plaque lower middle.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £14,899

Edward Williams

Edward Williams

Edward Williams trained alongside various family members. His works were exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institution, the Society of British Artists. He’s represented in numerous public collections including at the Leeds Art Gallery, Tate Gallery, V&A, and York Art Gallery.

Learn more about Edward Williams 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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