Paul Sandby, The Artist's Studio, a watercolour and bodycolour drawing on blue paper

England, after AD 1772

Both Paul Sandby (1730-1809) and his brother Thomas (1721-98) began work first in their birthplace, Nottingham, before entering the Ordnance Drawing Room at the Tower of London, where they trained as military draughtsmen. After a period in Scotland, in 1751 Paul went to live with his brother, then Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park, where he painted and sketched the castle and local inhabitants, before settling in London in 1760.

Paul moved to 4 St George's Row, Bayswater in 1772 (later 23 Hyde Park Place, demolished 1901). It remained his home and studio for the rest of his life. This is an informal sketch in watercolour and bodycolour on grey paper. The view is from a back window of the house looking down into the garden. In the centre, reached by stairs, is his elegant studio, built in the neo-classical style while carved busts of figures, vases and statues decorate the building and garden.

Thomas Gainsborough recommended Paul Sandby to at least one patron who wanted views of his country estate as the only contemporary English landscape artist who painted 'real views from nature', as opposed to his own imaginary compositions. But in addition tho faithful topographical views, Sandby was also concerned with elevating the regard in which landscape was held at the Royal Academy, and painted many large imaginary views in bodycolour and watercolour, intended to hang framed alongside oils on the walls of the Academy and the houses of his patrons.

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More information


L. Herrmann, Paul and Thomas Sandby (Batsford, 1986)

L. Stainton, British landscape watercolours (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)

L. Stainton, Nature into art: English lands (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)


Height: 238.000 mm
Width: 280.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1904-8-19-63


Bequeathed by William Sandby


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