William Hatherell

The Balcony Embrace

William Hatherell

The Balcony Embrace

This early-20th-century watercolour by British artist William Hatherell (1855-1928) depicts a loving couple embracing on a balcony before a city at night.

It’s a sublime example of Hatherell’s draughtsmanship - one of the greatest British illustrators in monochrome.

This gentle scene creates a romantic narrative as he holds his partner’s hand to his heart. They’re dressed for a soiree, perhaps on the continent, and hold each other - lost in a moment of sentimental bliss. It’s Summer, you can almost feel the warm breeze drifting across the twinkling city.

Hatherell hailed from Bristol and studied at the Royal Academy Schools. He was widely celebrated, particularly for his illustrations in black and white. His key works included 22 watercolours for Hodder's edition of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as well as numerous illustrations for magazines such as The Graphic, Good Housekeeping, and Harper's New Monthly Magazine. His works were shown at the Royal Academy between 1879 and 1904.

The Graphic magazine described him as “perhaps the greatest black and white illustrator living”.

Inscribed, framed and glazed.

Learn more about William Hatherell in our directory.

Medium: Watercolour on paper
Overall size: 17” x 21” / 43cm x 54cm
Year of creation: c. 1915
Condition: Artwork presents well.
Artist’s auction highlight: £13,000 achieved for an oil painting in 2019.

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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