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United Kingdom • 1725−1809

Biography and information

Paul Sandby – founder of the topographical tradition in English landscape painting. Wrote watercolor. He and his elder brother Thomas, in 1768, became one of the founders of the Royal Academy.


The artist was born in Nottingham. In early 1740-ies began to work in the topographical Department of the Committee of artillery, which was located in the tower of London, and in 1746 received the task of mapping North and North-West Scotland. In addition to their main work of the cartographer, he began to paint watercolor landscapes, and his paintings soon caught the interest of the art lovers.


In 1752 the brothers Sandby got a position at the Royal residence in Windsor, and painted the surrounding views. The period witnessed the passion of Sex prints: his legacy consists of 48 engravings with views of Wales. He also drew some caricatures of the artist William Hogarth.


In 1768 Gender, Sandby was appointed lecturer at the Royal military Academy in Woolwich, a position he served until 1799. He died in London in 1809. In the obituaries written about him as "the father of modern watercolour landscape painting".


Picture Sex, Sandby depicting the British province of the 18th century, different, almost the map accuracy.


It is the view of the artist, conveyed through his landscape of England in the mid XVIII century, has awakened in the British awareness of the natural beauty of their country and proud of it. Career Sandby may unfolded so brilliantly precisely because he was in the right place at the right time: his painting has answered the spiritual needs of the society at that time. After the uprising of the Jacobins 1745 it was the era when the hearts of the British people have developed a sense of national identity which did not exist before.


Paul Sandby - the younger brother of the famous architect, landscape designer and draftsman Thomas Sandby. In painting, the brothers often worked together, they also had common interests in science and technology. In particular, they were both fascinated with the prospects, conducted some experiments with the camera obscura – the predecessor of the modern camera that projected the image through a special lens onto the paper. Artists of the 18th century used this type of device for a pencil sketch and then worked on this sketch – painting details, was filled with color.


In 1751-71 he Sandby traveled to the UK, drawing a picturesque country houses and landscapes. Most often he used watercolor, than made a great contribution to the development of watercolor in independent art form. To this period of his career belong the most beautiful maps of large estates in England, Scotland and Wales. They are stored in the Museum Notingema, and was presented to the public at the exhibition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the death of the artist.


Take, for example, his painting of 1765, depicting deer in a Park near Windsor. Sandby, drawing her pale and blurry transparent watercolor light blue, soft grey and green tones on white paper. It is the delicacy and precision of his brushstrokes and subtle choice of colors, make it watercolor transparency and clarity among the work of other watercolorists of the time.


Working on landscapes for public shows, he chose an opaque body paint. They give a deep, persistent and vibrant color. The contrasts of light and shade in this version is much bolder, in General, Paul has made every effort to make sure his work looked quite competitive at the shows community of artists, which after 1769 began the Royal Academy.


In a series of his works, written in 1765, depicting Windsor castle, the artist shows the castle from different angles and in different weather conditions. Clean lines and well chosen perspective, two types of North terrace on a Sunny spring day, and the elaborate craftsmanship of shadows can very accurately determine even the time of day depicted in these paintings.


In another picture the lock is shown in perspective, as if looking at him from the river, a moonlit night during a storm. The truth of perception, reaches Sandby due to the contrast of the cold white zigzag of lightning, illuminating the ramparts of the castle, and milk of moonlight rays with close torn storm clouds.


Another canvas depicts a castle in the distance, illuminated only by the firelight in the night. Perfectly outlined characters – a young family on the terrace, an elderly couple with a dog, a drunkard with his long-suffering wife – enliven the picture.


Considered to be Sandby landscape painter, but he paints people as perfectly as houses or trees. He has a number of works of such a plan, and they can be distinguished as a separate genre. For example, the painting depicting the ruins of Roslin castle, dated 1780 In the background – a famous artist-lover of lady Frances Scott, drawing from nature, as well as her friends and family, watching her.


Being a man of the Enlightenment, Sandby also enjoys the influence of artificial light on color, like Gainsborough, Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg and Joseph Wright of Derby. This passion can be seen in the painting "Magic lantern" (The Magic Lantern) in 1753, which is not only a demonstration of the achievements of science, but also to illustrate typical scenes from the life of the total time. This picture the author shows how the light or lack of it affect the human perception of color. The plot is: a family gathered in a dark room late in the evening to look at the paintings projected on the wall with a "magic lantern". Sandby clearly draw the contrasts more vivid colors the scenes of battle, on the far wall and muted color of the clothes of the audience sitting in a dark room.


Interest Sex, Sandby to the achievements of science and technology has led to the fact that he was in 1775 put on a commercial basis printing method "aquatint" in England.


In addition to the high ideals of the Educator, Sandby was another side to life. Paul drew cartoons, which were distinguished by their excessive cruelty. His work in this genre has not been studied thoroughly for one reason: he drew the cartoons only for his opponent William Hogarth, and all that was behind him, his stance, morality and skill. And these cartoons are virtually incomprehensible to a wide range of people, because they are unfamiliar with all the subtleties of the vicissitudes of life artists of the 18th century.


Dispute with Hogarth, Sandby continues in watercolor. For example, a well-known portrait by Hogarth, "the shrimp Girl", which depicts the fisherman with wholesome and fresh face, the type simple English beauty. Sandby, in response painted a watercolor of a young girl who sells mackerel, detailing how aggressive she is trying to sell their wares as loudly arguing with a man who did not want her to buy anything. For anyone who knows how to work the hawkers in London at the time, the picture of Sengbe shocking and sobering in its realism.