Joseph Austin Benwell (British, 1816-1886) Jerusalem from Bethany

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Lot 5
Joseph Austin Benwell
(British, 1816-1886)
Jerusalem from Bethany

Sold for £ 10,687 (US$ 14,309) inc. premium
Joseph Austin Benwell (British, 1816-1886)
Jerusalem from Bethany
signed and dated 'J. A BENWELL 1884' (lower left); inscribed '"Jerusalem from Bethany"/J.A.Benwell/13 Abingdon Villas/Kensington W' (on a label attached to the backboard)
watercolour and gouache heightened with gum arabic
19.1 x 43.7cm (7 1/2 x 17 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, UK.

    Exhibited
    Southport, Atkinson Art Gallery, Spring Exhibition, April 1884.

    Joseph Austin Benwell, born in London in 1816, was both an accomplished painter and illustrator. Benwell left England with the East India Company in the early 1840s and visited China, Burma, Egypt and the Holy Land. In 1853 he illustrated a book by John Capper titled The Three Presidencies of India; a History of the Rise and Progress of the British Indian Possessions, from the Earliest Records to the Present Time and Our Indian Army: A Military History of the British Empire in the East by Captain Rafter, 1855.

    From 1865, after Benwell had travelled to the Holy Land and Middle East, he focused mainly on executing watercolours. He exhibited five works at the Royal Academy, with titles such as Halt for prayer under Mount Horeb, First halt from Jerusalem and Karnak, Egypt. Benwell also had works included at The Royal Society of British Artists, The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, elsewhere in Britain and as far as Sydney and Melbourne.

    The present lot, painted in 1884, features one of the artist's trademarks - a white camel - and provides the viewer with an expansive panorama of Jerusalem from Bethany (now known as Al-Eizariya, on the West Bank about 3 km from Jerusalem). On the 26 April 1884, the work was listed in the Liverpool Mercury, in the 'Art Notes' section as being sold for £18 18s.

    We are grateful to Dee Murray for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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