Rare Liverpool Artist at Bonhams 19th Century and British Impressionist Art Sale

The members of the Liverpool Group of Pre-Raphaelite painters may be less well-known than those of the founders of the Brotherhood such as Millais, Holman Hunt and Rossetti, but they are no less fascinating for that. A Pastoral Rehearsal, an intriguing work by the leading Liverpool School painter, James Campbell, is offered at Bonhams next 19th century and British Impressionist sale in London on Thursday 22 October. It is estimated at £25,000-35,000.

Painted in 1860, A Pastoral Rehearsal was exhibited that same year at the Liverpool Academy where Campbell had initially trained before attending The Royal Academy Schools in 1851. The son of an insurance clerk, the artist favoured scenes depicting the lives of the Liverpool lower-middle and working classes, painted with Pre-Raphaelite attention to detail and fidelity to nature.

Bonhams Head of 19th century and British Impressionist Art Charles O'Brien said:"A Pastoral Rehearsal is expressive and quirky, and although unusually large it is entirely typical of an artist who has been described as 'the most Dickensian of the Pre-Raphaelites' by the Walker Gallery in Liverpool, where a number of his pictures hang. Campbell's work rarely appears at auction and I'm expecting considerable interest in this picture."

Other highlights include:

Il bacino di San Marco by the French painter Félix Ziem (1821-1911) who was known for his depictions of Venice, the city where in 1841, aged 20, be first resolved to make painting his career. He visited Venice every year for 50 years often as part of wider travels – he was also a noted Orientalist and spent a year in the 1850s touring the Ottoman Empire and Egypt. Estimate £60,000-80,000.
Westminster Bridge by Giuseppe de Nittis (1846-1884). One of the most important 19th century Italian painters, de Nittis spent much of his short career in Paris – he died there at the age of 38 – though he did visit London in the mid-1870s which inspired this impressionistic view of Westminster Bridge looking towards the Houses of Parliament. Estimate: £40,000-60,000.

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