The Cachuca at a Dancing Class

WAG 7239


Bertha Newcombe (1857 - 1947) painted oils and watercolours, mostly of figures, landscapes, portraits and flowers. Her family was artistic: her father had a photography studio and her great-uncle was Samuel Prout (1783 - 1852). She began studying at the Slade School of Art in 1876, graduating in 1878. She exhibited at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibitions, Society of Women Artists, the RA, the New English Art Club and the Society of Painters in Watercolour, and was active from the 1880s to around 1910. In the early 1900s she did illustrations for books, including the frontispiece for a 1909 edition of George Eliot's 'The Mill on the Floss'. Her early style was sometimes described by critics as 'French', suggesting the influence of the Impressionists and their loose, fluid style of brushwork. This is a sketch for an oil painting Newcombe exhibited at the LAE in 1891. The sketch was illustrated in the catalogue for that year, and was probably made specifically for the purposes of printing. It was acquired with a large group of similar sketches for line block drawings for LAE catalogues, from the family of a Liverpool printer and editor.