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Vagabond Watercolour by James Ward b. 1769

Regular price £150.00 GBP
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A water colour rich in history by the renowned London artist James Ward b.1769, depicting a young vagabond in period clothing of the time. This little painting is on laid paper and in perfect condition, glazed and framed. Signed lower right JW RCA 

Artist: James Ward 

Watercolour on laid paper

Image size 10 x 15 cm

Frame size 35 x 30 cm 

Signed lower right


James Ward was born in 1769 in London, the son of a fruit merchant. One of five children - another of whom, William, became an associate of the Royal Academy - Ward did not attend school and instead was apprenticed to an engraver from the age of twelve. This training revealed his natural artistic talents and during his early career he established himself as a successful mezzotinter, reproducing works by other artists.

Ward started painting his own compositions around 1790 and, at first, was greatly influenced stylistically by his brother-in-law, the artist George Morland (1763-1804). After seeing Rubens’ Chateau de Steen in 1803, Ward’s painting style also incorporated Rubensian elements. He was an active observer of the natural world and studied animal and human anatomy. Ward became a respected animal-painter, often depicting animals on a colossal scale. He enjoyed a healthy business painting animals commissioned by members of the merchant classes, gentry and nobility.

Having been elected to the Royal Academy as a full member in 1811, Ward sought to diversify his subjects, and in the decades that followed, he produced renowned landscape, religious and history paintings. Ward also received significant public commissions relating to the Napoleonic Wars, notably producing The Waterloo Allegory (1815-21) to commemorate the victory of Wellington over Napoleon, for the British Institution.