Wallingford Castle, taken in 1810 while the Bridge was Repairing
Coloured aquatintpublished 1 August 1818
- About the work
About the artist
Robert Havell senior, son of artist and publisher Daniel Havell, was born in Reading but moved to London as a child. After Robert launched his career, father and son collaborated on illustrations for Henry Salt’s ‘Twenty Four Views Taken in St. Helena’ (1809–10). However, the partnership was short-lived and Robert later established himself at premises in Fitzrovia. He married Lydia Miller Phillips and had a son, Robert junior. Robert junior and his father formed the firm of R. Havell & Son, working on numerous projects including ‘Birds of America’ for John James Audubon. The scale of this project led them to employ 50 additional staff and move to larger premises in Oxford Street. Robert senior died a year after the company expansion.
Born in Reading, William Havell was a member of a large artistic family, primarily of printers. He made his first sketching tours to Wales and the Wye Valley in 1802 and 1803. In 1805, he became a founder member of the Old Watercolour Society. In 1816, Havell sailed for China with Lord Amherst’s Embassy, visiting Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, the Cape and Java. He later travelled to Calcutta and stayed in India for eight years, working as a watercolour portrait painter. He returned to England in 1827 but in the following year left for Italy, where he remained until the spring of 1829. After again returning to England, he painted landscapes in oil. Havell’s best landscapes are of his native Reading and the Thames valley.