Antique Pair Waterscape Oil Paintings by William Adolphus Knell 19th C


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Object Description

This is a beautiful Dutch pair of antique oil on canvas paintings of marine scenes, by William Adolphus Knell (1805-1875), signed right hand lower corners.

Both paintings depict rowing and sailing boats at sea, with country folk on the beach looking out to sea.

The artist has used a very delicate palette of colours and has succeeded in adding some mystery to the scene.

Housed in their original and beautiful giltwood frames.

Several examples of his work have sold at top auction houses:

In really superb condition the paintings and frames having been beautifully cleaned, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 33 x Width 54 x Depth 6 – Frame
Height 19 x Width 40 – Painting

Dimensions in inches:
Height 1 foot, 1 inch x Width 1 foot, 9 inches x Depth 2 inches – Frame
Height 7 inches x Width 1 foot, 4 inches – Painting

William Adolphus Knell

was born in 1801 at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight. By 1825 had already exhibited his works at the Royal Academy. He soon built up a successful practice as a painter of maritime and particularly naval subjects, exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy, British Institution and the Society of British Artists. He was particularly praised in 1847 for The Battle off Cape St. Vincent, 14 February 1797, shown at Westminster Hall in 1847. It was purchased for the nation for £200 and is now part of the Parliamentary Art Collection. Reviewing Knell’s Destruction of Toulon, shown in the same exhibition, The Athenæum said: “It is more conspicuous in chiaroscuro treatment than most of the pictures here of its class … a little less whiteness in the more intense portions of the fire would have given greater brilliancy. The handling is as vigorous and sketchy as the effect is powerful.

Knell was twice commissioned by Queen Victoria for paintings. His picture The Arrival of Prince Albert, 6 February 1840 was bought by the prince himself and remains in the Royal Collection. It shows the packet steamer Ariel, on board which Albert came to Britain for his wedding, approaching the crowded quay at Dover in a storm.

The returns of the 1861 Census record the family as living in St Pancras, London. William Adolphus, then aged 58 was married to Susan; his son William Calcott, aged 32 (b.c. 1829), was married to Maria and another son, Adolphus (b.c. 1849) was aged 12. Both William Calcott Knell and Adolphus Knell also became successful painters.

He died on 9 July 1875 at his home in Kentish Town and was buried at Abney Park Cemetery.

Both WA Knell and Adolphus painted a significant number of small picture of boats at dusk and in the moonlight. Many of these smaller pictures are on panel rather than on canvas which has the advantage that the harder surface allows for higher detail.

Our reference: A3341

Object Details

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