Colour lithographpublished 1853
About the work
In mountainous landscape a peasant woman is seen filling a bucket with water, while her male companion admires the view. To the right, another woman is by a small stone dwelling, which has smoke rising from its chimneys. There are further buildings in the distance and beyond them, a scenic lake.
The lake depicted in this view is Buttermere, a small lake located between the villages of Buttermere and Honister Pass, in the Lake District National Park. This print was made after a view painted by James Baker Pyne. It was published as a lithograph by Thomas Agnew and Sons, Manchester, in 1853 as part of a set of prints titled ‘The English Lake District’. The set was later lithographed again, this time by Thomas Picken (died 1870), and a second edition of the series was published by Day & Sons under the title ‘Lake Scenery of England’, in 1859.
Lithography is a method of printing using a stone surface and the principle that oil and water do not mix. The image is drawn onto a flat stone surface with a greasy substance, while areas to be kept free of ink are wetted. When the oily printing ink is applied, it is only attracted to dry, greased areas of stone.
About the artist
William Gauci was a lithographer, mainly of landscape views after the designs of his contemporaries. Gauci was based in London and his father, M. Gauci, and brother, Paul Gauci, also worked as lithographers. William collaborated with his brother on the production of several prints. In 1831 ‘Arnold's Magazine of the Fine Arts’ commented: ‘William Gauci is a landscape draughtsman; but his style is monotonous; he has however lately obtained more brilliancy than formerly distinguished his works.’
Landscape painter James Baker Pyne was born in Bristol, where he worked as a self-taught artist until the age of 35. He gave painting lessons to William James Müller, who later became an artist of repute. In 1835 Pyne moved to London, exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy, British Institution and New Watercolour Society over two decades. In his early period he painted views and scenery around Bristol but after 1835 he travelled to Italy and elsewhere on the Continent, gathering material to work up into finished pictures. Pyne was an admirer and imitator of Turner; his dramatic effects and use of pale yellow tones reflecting Turner's influence. Today, his records of works produced from 1840 to 1868 are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.