A Lock near Stratford-On-Avon

WAG 169


Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is famous as the birthplace and home of William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616). This association made the town and the surrounding area a popular subject for artists in the 19th century. Birket Foster, originally an illustrator in black and white, turned to watercolour in the late 1850s. He became one of the most successful and prolific of Victorian watercolourists, painting in a delicate and graceful style. In his work, the countryside is charming and pretty, its wild and romantic side tamed to suit the Victorian taste for domesticised and soothing rustic scenes. A letter dated 28th March 1935 from British publisher Vicars Brothers notes of this watercolour: "This again has a definite tinge of [Foster's] blue colour, but was never intended for a finished drawing."