- Museum number
In the grounds of Bromley Hill; trees and ferns on grassy bank. 1805
- Production date
Height: 244 millimetres
Width: 385 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Catalogue entry from K.Sloan, 'A Noble Art: Amateur Artists and Drawing Masters c. 1600-1800', exh. BM P&D, 2000, no. 148:
Amelia Hume's earliest work in the Museum (cat. 31, Madonna and Child) is firmly in the tradition of young lady amateurs being taught to make small copies of oils using a miniaturist's technique. Although both her parents were amateur artists as well as connoisseurs, there is no evidence of where or from whom she received her early training. Even in that earliest work, however, it was clear that her skill was formidable and it is not surprising to learn that she was later said to be Girtin's favourite pupil. Shortly after painting the Madonna and Child, she married Charles Long (1761-1838), a great friend of William Pitt, who held a succession of government positions, advised the monarch and spoke frequently in parliament on the arts. Like his father-in-law Sir Charles Hume and his friends Sir George Beaumont and Richard Payne Knight (who once owned the present drawing), he was a collector and connoisseur with a particular fondness for Dutch painting. Beaumont's wedding present to the couple in 1793 was an oil painting by himself of a very Dutch-like scene of a cottage at Dedham in Suffolk. Amelia made copies from many of the old masters in their various collections. But Charles Long was also keen to support contemporary British artists and like the others regularly attended the annual Royal Academy dinners; he subscribed towards the upkeep of John Robert Cozens's family and helped to fund Girtin's trip to Paris.
Through the second half of the 1790s, Long was in negotiations to purchase land in Bromley where Pitt had a house, but they did not actually move there until the end of 1801. In the meantime, Amelia had become a pupil of Girtin and Henry Edridge, with whom she had probably came into contact through Dr Monro. No details of her lessons are known, but it must have been through them that she learnt to draw and paint in watercolours from nature. First, however, like many of their other pupils including Dr Monro and John Henderson, she probably learnt to handle her pencil by copying Edridge's detailed drawings and to handle watercolours by copying Girtin's own (her copy of his Kirkstall Abbey is now in theYale Center for British Art). By the time she drew the present view in the gardens at Bromley, which she and her husband had designed, she had a confident hand that had absorbed lessons from drawings she had seen by other artists as well, particularly the Gainsboroughs she had seen in the collections of Dr Monro and Beaumont. She painted in watercolour and oil, but she was most accomplished as a draughtsman and produced soft-ground etchings for distribution among her friends and was one of the first in England to experiment with lithography.
Literature: Tessa Sidey, 'Amelia Long, Lady Farnborough', exh. cat. Dundee Art Gallery, 1980; M Clarke and N Penny, 'The Arrogant Connoisseur: Richard Payne Knight', Whitworth Art Gallery exh.1982 no. 147; D B Brown and F Owen, 'Collector of Genius: Life of Sir George Beaumont', 1988, p. 82-3, 86
Many drawings by Amelia Long of her house and the grounds and views from Bromley Hill survive. Some are in the local record office in Bromley. Several were etched in soft ground etching for a series titled 'Views of Bromley Hill'. One of the watercolours etched for this series (no. 7, View from the Gardens) was with Guy Peppiatt Fine Art in 2010, part of an album assembled by her neice Sophia Tower, with drawings and watercolours of Bromley, Paris, Hastings, Dover, Luzarches, Richmond Bridge, Eton and Rotterdam amongst other views.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1979 Dec, Dundee AG, 'Amelia Long', no. 5
1982 Jan-Apr, Whitworth AG, 'Payne Knight', no. 147
2000 May-Sep, BM P&D, 'A Noble Art', no.148
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number