In this winter scene the River Thames has frozen over and a ‘frost fair’ is being held on the River. Food is cooked, while people gather in tents to keep warm and converse. The original watercolour for this aquatint print, which shows some minor differences to the published image, is now in the collection of London Metropolitan Archives. Just before the print was published in February 1814, an advertisement for it was placed in the ‘Morning Chronicle’:
‘A Coloured PRINT, representing the THAMES (as seen off the Three Cranes Wharf) when FROZEN, on Monday the 31st January, and continued to the Saturday following; exhibiting the Diversions of its Visitors, which much resembled a Flemish Fair; also a correct View of London Bridge and the Buildings from the City side; from a Drawing taken on the Ice, by CALVERT, whose peculiar stile [sic] in soft hazy distance and general effect, has been much admired.’
The print was published by Burkitt and Hudson of 85 Cheapside and sold for 10 shillings. The artist of the work, described as ‘Calvert’ in the advertisement, is probably Charles Calvert who, although Manchester based, produced numerous views of the River Thames.
Charles Calvert was born at Glossop Hall, Derbyshire; the son of an amateur artist and land agent to the Duke of Norfolk's estate in Derbyshire. He was eleven when his father died. He abandoned an apprenticeship in the cotton trade, to train as a landscape painter and was instrumental in the foundation of the Manchester Royal Institution (later Manchester City Art Gallery). He gained the Heywood gold medal for a landscape in oil and silver medal for a watercolour landscape. He exhibited only two works in London. Calvert devoted much of his time to teaching and spent the remainder painting in the Lake District. Although confined to his bed in later years, he continued to paint landscapes from memory. He died at Bowness, Westmorland, aged 66.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.