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sketch-book / drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Sketchbook, views of Brixham Harbour and Torbay, Devon. Graphite, watercolour and ink wash
    F1r and F1v Blank.
    F2r Grassy hills with army camp on l; on r, bay with sailing-boats. Inscribed on opposite page[F1v], “The Camp above Brixholm[i.e. Brixham] in Torbay (ye 50th regiment)”. Pen and black ink and watercolour.
    F2v Blank.
    F3r Bay and small town with army camp on hills above. Inscribed on opposite page[F2v], “Brixholme” [i.e. Brixham]. Pen and black ink and watercolour.
    F3v Blank.
    F4r In foreground, bay with 3 sailing-boats; in c, long low building with fort on hill behind. Low grassy hills on left and r. Inscribed on opposite page[F3v], “Tor Abbey fr ye middle of Torbay”. Pen and black ink and watercolour.
    F4v Blank.
    F5r Bay with 2 sailing-boats and rocks and grassy hills. Inscribed on opposite page[F4v], “Rocks in Torbay near Torkey”[i.e. Torquay]. Pen and black ink and watercolour.
    F5v Blank.
    F6r Bay with 3 sailing-boats and rocky coast with hills beyond. Inscribed on opposite page[F5v], “Rocks in Torbay”. Pen and black ink and watercolour.
    F6v Blank.
    F7r Bay with 3 sailing-boats; in c, mound with fort on top and hills beyond. Inscribed on opposite page
    [F6v], “The Thatcher in Torbay”. Pen and black ink and watercolour.
    F7v Blank.
    F8r In c, unfinished sketch of sailing-boat . No inscription. Graphite.
    F8v Blank.
    F9r On l, unfinished sketch of a policeman; on r, unidentified shapes. Inscribed lr, “H.B.T.” Graphite.
    F9v Detached house with garden and low wall in front. No inscription. Graphite.
    F10r In c, outline of house. No inscription. Graphite.
    F10v Blank.


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 18thC(late)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 182 millimetres
    • Width: 285 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed throughout with location details that refer to the page opposite
  • Curator's comments

    Nos. 9 and 10 are by a later hand (initials HBJ or T). See also1999-2-27-1 (a-c) for three other sheets by a later hand. Several other sketchbooks by Wynn were acquired at the same time as this one.

    The following catalogue entry about Wynn and these sketchbooks is taken from Kim Sloan, 'A Noble Art: Amateur Artists and Drawing Masters c.1600-1800', exhibition catalogue, BM 2000, no.95:
    Although he was not a skilled draughtsman, the Reverend Wynne was a prolific one; at least seven surviving sketchbooks record tours in Wales (1770 and 1774), Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland 1772, Ireland, Cheshire and Kent (1790s), and Devon and Cornwall, where he lived in the manor and rectory at Polzne from the mid-1770s until his death. According to the Gentleman's Magazine (1816), he also travelled in Europe, although none of the known sketchbooks record views there.
        Wynne was born in London, the son of a serjeant-at-law, educated at Eton and Oxford where he arrived in 1758, the year before Malchair (cat. 115). He became a Fellow of All Souls and received his B.C.L. in 1766, and D.C.L. 1771. Although he was 'familiar with the great, he had a mind too independent to solicit their patronage' (GM) and held the valuable Rectory of St. Erme, Cornwall for thirty-two years before resigning it in favour of his curate. In 1784 he inherited the famous library of the seventeenth-century collector of political tracts, Narcissus Luttrell, but sold it in 1786 (parts now in P&D and BL). He visited Robert Price at Foxley in 1770, and was still corresponding with Malchair in 1793.
        In style his drawings certainly owe much to Malchair who was probably his drawing master at Oxford, and they are thus too vague to be of antiquarian value in the same way as measured, surveyed or strictly topographical drawings with accurate perspective. Nevertheless his drawings are reliable records of towns, castles, churches, and ruins and provide examples of early 'picturesque' tours of Britain useful for placing Gilpin's well-known tours of the same period into a wider perspective. Although his drawings were 'views' like Gilpin's and not as detailed as those commissioned by Pennant or Grose from their servants or professional artists, they clearly served in cases where there no other views to hand for their plates, and Sandby and others used several of them as the basis for their own publications.
        Wynne's view of the Episcopal Palace at St. David's was drawn the same year as Sandby made his first tour of Wales and was the basis for the 6th plate in his first series of Welsh aquatints. Although in the end Sandby's interpretation was only loosely based on the amateur's, Wynne was duly credited in the imprint below the image which served, like a dedication, to publicly advertise the assistance and patronage of such men. Luttrell proudly inscribed that his view of Dumbarton with the new bridge in one of the Scottish sketchbooks was 'copied and published by Mr Sandby', and a drawing by Wynne of 1774 is credited as the basis of Sandby's 1776 aquatint of Bridgnorth in his series of Shropshire views.
        In fact Sandby managed to publicly acknowledge a number of important men through his engravings in various ways. His first Welsh tour was in 1770, when he spent the summer at Wynnstay, the home of Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, who may have been a relation of Luttrell Wynne. Sandby gave drawing lessons, painted scenery for amateur theatricals and toured North Wales with Sir Watkin and his party. In the summer of 1773 he travelled with Joseph Banks, Dr Solander and Charles Greville (all fellows of the Royal Society) all around South Wales and again visited the north. Twelve Views in South Wales, which contained Wynne's view of St David's, was antiquarian in approach and published in 1775 with dedication to his friend Banks and his pupil Greville. The latter, a keen mineralogist, took one or two views around Milford Haven where his uncle Sir William Hamilton had property (Sandby later engraved one of these in the Virtuosi's Museum), but Greville had had to leave the party after a week because his father, the Earl of Warwick had died.
        Sandby's second set, Views in North Wales was published 1776 with more dramatic scenery and a dedication to Sir Watkin. A final set of Welsh views published in 1786 contained two views of places Sandby hadn't visited, Kidwelly Castle in Carmarthenshire lettered 'Rev'd. T. Rackett Delint.' and Abbey on the Wye, again 'T. Rackett Delint.' Thomas Rackett (1757-1841) was also a pupil of Malchair at Oxford, but had already learnt to draw from Sandby in London. His parish was in Dorset and like Luttrell Wynne and the Reverend Cordiner, he travelled the country sketching antiquities, and shared these with fellow antiquarians and engravers. An inscription on what was the facing page of the sketchbook from which Wynne's Kidwelly view was removed indicated that Grose had engraved it. Francis Grose died while on his tour of Ireland and Wynne's views were used to complete his publication in 1794.

    Literature: Iolo Williams, 'Paul Sandby and his Predecessors in Wales', Transactions of the Hon. Society of Cymmrodorian, 1961, pt. 2, pp. 24-8; Peter Hughes, 'Paul Sandby and Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn' and 'Paul Sandby's Tour of Wales with Joseph Banks', Burlington Magazine, CXIV, 1972, pp. 459-66 and CXVII, 1975, pp. 452-7.


  • Location

    Not on display (240.f.16)

  • Exhibition history

    2000 May-Sep, BM P&D, 'A Noble Art', no.95(a)

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: PDB33656

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