Near Malvern Hills
About the work
Two drovers, one on horseback, the other on foot, take their cattle to market, moving the herd along a country lane towards an industrial town.
A label on the back of this work gives the artist’s address as ‘Lyndhurst Cottage, Walcot, Bath’. Barker lived at Lyndhurst Cottage from at least September 1859 to early 1863, which helps us to date the work.
A similar view by the artist showing cattle being herded along a country lane, titled simply ‘Malvern’, was sold through a fine art auctioneer in 2003.
About the artist
Painter and draftsman John Joseph Barker was the son of painter Thomas Barker of Bath (1767-1847) and brother of artists Benjamin and Thomas Jones Barker. John was instructed in drawing and painting by his father. At 18 he fell out with his brother Benjamin over Mary Anne Rand, whom he married in 1845. He became a prolific painter of sentimental and landscape works, remaining in Bath but exhibiting at the Royal Academy and British Institution, both in London. After the death of his first wife he married two more times and had numerous children. As his faculties failed him, he fell into poverty and, aged 80, was elected an out-pensioner by the Board of Bath Municipal Charities, having ‘lost the use of his limbs’. He died the same year.
- Near Malvern Hills
- Oil on canvas
- height: 100.50 cm, width: 134.50 cm
- Purchased from Appleby Bros, December 1954
- blc: J Barker
- With Appleby Bros.; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in December 1954, as by Thomas Barker of Bath
- GAC number