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An Old English Church

Peter De Wint (1784–1849)

English, Romantic
first half of the 19th century
14.61 cm x 17.78 cm (5 3/4 in. x 7 in.)
watercolor on paper

Not on view


This watercolor depicts an unidentified church within a landscape setting. At the right is the entrance-bell tower as seen from the side. The tower has three string courses, a narrow lancet window or opening on the second story, a large, probably louvered, round-arched opening on the third story, and a crenellated parapet and four finials, one at each corner. To the left and partly obscured by trees is seen part of the nave with one double lancet window framed by a pointed arch. Also seen is the end of a transept or transceptal chapel with four narrow rectangular windows surmounted by a round window and all framed by a seemingly round-headed arch. Such churches are common in England. Many were begun in the late-eleventh, early-twelfth century period in a Norman Romanesque style and subsequently added to in a Gothic Decorated or Perpendicular style. Most are built of limestone rubble and ashlars with slate and lead roofs and have a western bell tower, nave, north and south aisles, and chancel. The transept or transceptal chapel of the De Wint depiction is a somewhat unusual feature.

Peter de Wint was born at Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, in England. He moved to London in 1802, and was apprenticed to John Raphael Smith, a mezzotint engraver and portrait painter. He bought his freedom from Smith in 1806 and that year visited Lincoln for the first time. There, John Varley gave De Wint further lessons and introduced him to Dr. Monro, who ran an informal academy for young artists. De Wint first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807, and the following year at the Gallery of Associated Artists in Watercolours. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1809. He was elected an Associate of the Old Watercolour Society in 1810 and was made a full member the following year. He frequently visited his wife's home city of Lincoln, and many of his landscapes and other scenes are set in Lincolnshire. He died in 1849.

J. Carder

Acquisition History
Collection of Isabel Denison, Washington, D.C.

Collection of Mary Lucas, Washington, D.C.

On loan to Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, D.C., 1967-1982.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, D.C.

House Collection