Walter Heath Williams

Idyllic Landscape With Family

Walter Heath Williams

Idyllic Landscape With Family

This charming 19th-century oil painting by British artist Walter Heath Williams (fl.1841-1876) depicts an idyllic rural landscape with family.

Here, amid the crisp glow of British summertime, a young lad launches a toy sailboat upon a shallow waterway. Excited, he crouches to guide the small vessel downriver. While mother watches from a rickety bridge and father looks on proudly. Beyond, via a five-bar gate, an open field stretches towards distant hills, which gently vanish into mist.

Produced at a time of ever-advancing Victorian industry, Williams’ idyllic views reminisce about a simpler age of rural bliss. His rose-tinted visions celebrate the enduring love within families, the glory of nature and a slower, more considered, way of life.

Signed in the lower right and held within a splendid scroll and foliate frame. Previously one of a pair sold through Phillips auction, London, in 1996 for £4,000.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 31” x 23” / 79cm x 59cm
Year of creation: c. 1870
Labels & Inscriptions: Auction stencil, probably from Phillips, London.
Provenance: Private collection, England.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £15,400

Walter Heath Williams

Walter Heath Williams

Walter Heath Williams was a British artist predominantly known for gentle rolling views of Devon and Cornwall. Details of his life are scant despite the fact he exhibited regularly for over 20 years at the Royal Academy. He’s often confused with Walter Williams (1834-1906) who was a member of the Williams family of painters but their approach was quite different. He lived in Bath, Torquay and Topsham, Devon but, despite an extensive search, the ancestry records yield no results. With this in mind, it’s possible that he (or she) was working under a pseudonym.

Learn more about Walter Heath 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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