A Farmstead in Normandy, France
signed, indistinctly inscribed and dated ‘Charles.J.Watson.to Mrs E; Guy Dawler, July 23rd 1917’
pencil, watercolour and bodycolour
7 x 9 in. (18 x 23 cm.)
with Heather Newman, Gloucestershire
Charles John Watson (1846-1927) was the son of a Norwich carver, gilder and print-seller. His precocious talent was recognised by his family and, but for his father’s unexpected demise, he would have moved to London to pursue his artistic bent. Instead he took over his father’s business whilst developing his artistic skills in drawing, etching, engraving, watercolour and oil.
From 1872 Watson exhibited his work at various galleries, including the Royal Academy. He became a member of the Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, within a year of its foundation (1880) and was a regular contributor of works for many years thereafter. Despite his links with Norfolk, cemented by his founding – and subsequent presidency – of the Norwich Art Circle, Watson and his future wife, the artist Minna Bolingbroke, moved permanently to London in 1888. He set up his studio in Chelsea and enjoyed acclaim for his watercolours and etchings, inspired by his travels in France, Holland and Italy.
His work is to be found in many museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Castle Museum, Norwich and the City Art Galleries in Manchester and Aberdeen