Poultry in a Landscape

WILLIAM HUGGINS (1820-1884) Biography

Poultry in a Landscape (England, 1856)

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Oil on artist's millboard
Signed and dated 1856, inscribed Landscape by Bond


31.00cm high
40.50cm wide
(12.20 inches high)
(15.94 inches wide)
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Exhibition History

London, Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, The Brotherhood of Ruralists and the Pre-Raphaelites, June - July 2005

Description / Expertise

A rare Liverpool Pre-Raphaelite painting combining the talents of a senior member of the Liverpool School with its youngest member. Huggins has painted a favourite subject, poultry, and Bond, the landscape.

The most famous sporting artist in the world was Liverpool's son, George Stubbs. Although William Huggins did paint landscapes and portraits, his great love was animal painting and he followed in the master's footsteps. He spent many hours at the Zoological Gardens studying and drawing different animals, followed Wombwell's Menagerie (a travelling animal circus) around parts of England and kept a house full of pets.

A leading member of the Liverpool School of painters, William Huggins began his career as a student in the life classes of the Liverpool Academy. He was elected a full member of the Academy in 1850, the same year that the London Pre-Raphaelites first exhibited there. It was the influence of Millais, Holman Hunt, Rossetti and Madox Brown of painting in transparent glazes over a white ground which caused Marillier to write of his technique:

When size permitted he selected a smooth white millboard on which, after making a careful outline in pencil, he proceded to glaze very strongly and richly with transparent colours, using the mill-board below as a light showing through the thin colour. The opaque lights were carefully placed exactly where they were needed, great care being taken not to muddy the colour.

William Joseph J C Bond was a landscape and marine painter of the Liverpool School. His work was much influenced by Turner and in the 1850s and 1860s by the Pre-Raphaelites.

Bond spent all his life in Liverpool, working mainly for northern patrons. He was apprenticed to Thomas Griffiths, a Liverpool picture dealer and restorer, and became an Associate of the Liverpool Academy in 1856 and a member in 1859. He exhibited in London between 1857 and 1881, most of his pictures were being shown at the Society of British Artists. He showed only two pictures at the Royal Academy and one at the Grosvenor Gallery.