Sunday, 12 July 2015

John Abbott White (1763-1851)

To Exeter, where I spent an enjoyable time at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, just wandering around really. Then I found myself in the exhibition 'Quay Views: Exeter Canal and the Exe', where I spotted three watercolours by the Exeter-born artist John Abbott White.  

Abbott White, who also practised as a surgeon, painted and sketched various local scenes including the above pen and wash drawing of the old granary at the bottom of Granary Lane in Budleigh Salterton.

During his visit to the town he also made a drawing of fishermen and their boats on the beach. Both pictures were bought by the Museum in 1992, thanks to an anonymous donation and a special one-off grant from the then East Devon Council.  

“Pictorial representations of Budleigh Salterton in the past are very rare, so every opportunity to obtain works of art has to be taken,” said Museum spokesman Geoffrey Swinyard at the time. “These will enhance the Museum’s collection of local historical art and will be displayed at the earliest opportunity.”

Typical of much of Abbott White's work were landscapes like this watercolour of Bickleigh Court in Mid-Devon, dated 1803.

This painting, entitled, An Italianate Landscape, dates from 1800.  

Apparently  he never sold a painting, and most of his works were retained by his family until well into the 20th century.

The RAMM exhibition runs until 2 August  2015.  Details are at

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