Sportsman on the moor
Sportsman on the moor
William Jones's work is well-known, emanating from the first half of the 19th century, and so it is surprising that nothing much is known about his life and background.
Sporting subjects seemed to form his entire output and must have been produced for country gentlemen on a private commission basis which provided him with sufficient income that he had no need to make recourse to the London or provincial exhibition venues to advertise his paintings.
He is best remembered now for his shooting scenes, sometimes in woodland settings but also in more open country and he signed his work infrequently and his style is quite distinctive. Ackermann had several examples of William Jones's shooting scenes over the years of which several were pairs. It is possible that he was related to Samuel John Egbert Jones who also painted shooting and sporting scenes at about the same time, but this cannot be more than speculation even though their works are sometimes confused. The former often had a lot of foliage depicted in his work with skilled observation of the way the light struck areas of dense and more open leafy areas.
William Jones painted scenes of pheasant, snipe, partridge and woodcock shooting, displaying a close familiarity with the subject matter. He also painted a series of angling pictures which were reproduced in Walter Shaw Sparrow's 'Angling in British Art'. Titles included: "Fly Fishing - The Art of Casting" (1834), "Fishing for Pike", "An Angling Nook", "May Fly Fishing"and "Roach Fishing". The originals of these were in the Arthur N Gilbey Collection and the Paul Mellon Collection has "Bottom Fishing" and "Playing a Fish".
Dictionary of British Sporting Painters - Sydney H Paviere
A Dictionary of Sporting Artists 1650 - 1990 - Mary Ann Wingfield
Angling in British Art - Walter Shaw Sparrow
c 1820 - c 1850
Oil on canvas
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A Trompe l'Oeil Still Life of a Partridge, Woodcock and Spotted Woodpecker hanging from Nails against a white-washed Wall