|This page is a direct continuation
of Louise in Wales and the west Midlands (here),
hence the lack of introduction!
Above: the only picture we currently have of Oxford is this
painting of Oriel College. A modern-day photograph used for
comparison (see louiserayner.co.uk/oxford.php)
shows how the church has been pulled forward into her
composition to add drama - something she was fond of, for
example in her Chester paintings. What it also shows is that
the buildings have barely changed, but this (apparently)
tranquil scene has been violated by modern paint schemes and
the needs of modern traffic. Of course, Louise could impose
tranquillity by omitting what she didn't want - like
bustling horse and cart traffic squeezing down the narrow
streets, and the smells of horse dung and poor drains - so
comparisons need to be made with care!
quality of the painting is sufficient that we can close
in on the details. The first view (right) shows a mix of
life - handling a horse in the foreground with lecturers
and possibly students nearby. Then a window cleaner,
perhaps. Beyond them a man drives a horse and open
carriage, there are ladies with parasols, and in the
distance a woman in a red dress.
The lower scene is the left foreground of the painting -
a lecturer possibly talking to the parents of a student
while boys play with a dog and two adults look on from
the other side of the street - one possibly resting from
carrying her baskets. Note the lampost in the middle of
the street, the dishevelled road surface, and how well
executed the fence is.
Please note: if you've encountered a street scene with
soaring twin church towers, entitled "Oxford", someone made
a terrible guess. You will find it where it belongs - with
other paintings of York in Louise
in Northern England!
|We've known about this painting - Chippenham
Market Day 1865 - for some time as a
consequence of finding the small mono image on Chippenham's
local government site (Wiltshire). At least two paintings
exist showing very much the same view but with a different
arrangement of figures. This one strikes us as the more
attractive of the two.
The Baltimore Museum of Art contacted us in late summer 2007
to ask for identification. As they rightly said, the lack of
a distinctive church or other unique feature could well have
rendered the scene anonymous, and we've certainly had
trouble with others. But this one was immediately
identifiable for the reason already given. [Image courtesy
of The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Rhoda Oakley,
Baltimore BMA 1997.310.]
The reason for apparent intransigence is thought to be
"provenance", the art world's sales history defence against
spurious works being passed off as genuine. Retitling the
picture would break the provenance chain and put its value
severely at risk. So it's still called Ashbourne - and it
still shows Chippenham! And if you want Chippenham and like
this particular view, you could get a print from several art
print suppliers such as EasyArt
when this page was first written. If it's still available,
just make sure they don't print a spurious identity on it!
|If there are other viewpoints of Chippenham, we
don't know them, but would be very happy to learn of
them. But there is one more painting of the market
place. This one is called
Market Day Ashbourne,
Derbyshire, but it doesn't take more
than a moment to realise that it is a mistitling for
Chippenham. The modern Rayner family have
tried - without success - to get this corrected.
In July 2007, Chris Bullivant sent us photographs of his
miniature Louise Rayner painting of Salisbury seen in the
mist. He says the original is only 2.5 inches by 4 inches
(62mm by 100mm). We don't have an official title for this -
it may just be Salisbury,
and we have no further hints on the date or circumstances.
Andy King's thoughts on it are "I
guess it was painted in the early morning from Louise's
room on one of her stays (perhaps a Sunday as I can
almost hear the bells - which may have startled the
pigeons or rooks!)... I haven't seen this before and I
expect it could be a one-off which makes it all the
Street, Salisbury in 1870, with the cathedral
in the background. Other images of the same painting
show that this one has been cropped slightly at left,
more substantially in the foreground (the horse does
have legs!), and a whole building has disappeared from
the right. The picture was kindly forwarded by Debbie
Roberts; she was foraging for paintings for her family
history in South Petherton, Somerset - which we'll
shortly come to.
A calmer and crisper view of the same scene went to
Christies in December 2010, with hopes of £5000 to
£8000. It is also called Castle
Street, Salisbury so one (we suspect the
one above) must have a variant on this name. A
second, but poorer image shows a little more of the
building at right, so we've added a snippet for
On the right we have Salisbury
High Street, with no date. It could also be
1870, but the feel is of a rather later period,
and looking at the ladies' dresses
on the right hand pavement, we wouldn't
be surprised by 1890. Local historians may be able to identify
the period of years it would be consistent with.
The church is St. Thomas's Chancel, or Sarum St.
Thomas and St. Edmund. The street off to the right just
before the church is Silver Street, with the Poultry
Cross just a short distance along it.
We are still in High Street Salisbury
for this painting, but looking in the opposite
direction, south along the street towards Salisbury
Cathedral. The two views overlap, with the
distinctively-roofed building helping to relate each to
the other. Some of the buildings along the road still
survive today. In the distance, the road goes through
High Street Gate, also known as St. Stephen?s Gateway.
We'd suggest 1870s for this painting, but again, local
historians would be better able to be definitive about
|Minster Street Salisbury
was auctioned by Bonhams in 2011,
when it was a newcomer to our list of her paintings, so
it may have been held privately for quite some time. We
don't have a definite date for the view but it was in
or by 1877.
We are standing in Minster Street, looking towards the
Minster (i.e. Salisbury Cathedral). On the left we
have the bold Sun Insurance sign, and some of the
figures in the foreground have a now-familiar Louise
look to them, but are well-executed as always.
Some of Louise's paintings are surprisingly small, but
the real painting of this is five times the size of our image.
It is one of Louise's finer-detailed paintings,
and we have a close-up of the business names for the
nearer shops below. The same clip shows one of her
very nicely characterised street lamps.
|The business names aren't clear,
but suggest A. Rusloe, Ironware; what may be A Bamshaw
or Armstrong misspelled for clothing (it's a letter
short for Abrams); and C or G Wood, Hood, or Todd,
Hairdresser. We'd welcome correction on these.
Next we have two almost identical views of the Poultry
Cross, Salisbury, but painted on separate
occasions. According to Salisbury & South Wiltshire
Museum, this market cross dates from c.1450, the peak of the
city's prosperity - itself replacing a High Cross that had
stood in a similar position since the city's earliest days.
The larger painting below was originally
dated 1870, but this has been revised to circa 1880 (probably
the following year as Louise is known to have visited Salisbury
in 1870 and 1881). This now makes it feasible to date the
painting at right as c.1870 - there could, after all, have been a
confusion between the two paintings in the past.
There is evidential reason for doing this as well: the Poultry Cross
had repair work done on it in the mid-1870s. If we look at the
near-left footing of the cross, there is a clear difference, and the
larger painting below matches more recent photographs.
Unfortunately, we've seen no earlier images to confirm this, though
they should exist: the curving buttresses which support the pinnacle
and cross were only added in the early 1850s. That allows 20 years
for early photographers or other artists to be out sharpening their
bristles to capture the new. It could just be an anomaly in Louise's
work but she could be meticulous about detail even while losing
entire buildings she didn't want. Since she included the footing,
she probably rendered it accurately, and we've since come across other
information that supports that belief.
||Salisbury Poultry Cross,
left, doesn't show us anything really new, but it is
more of a close-up of the cross, is more handsome in
its detail, and gives us much more of an impression
of the people buying or trading there.
The near-left footing noted earlier is in the
condition matching what we believe is the later
painting above. The buildings visible behind are all
identical to those in the other two paintings, but
Salisbury may have been slow to change in this area
in the 19th century.
The church behind the Cross with the somewhat
changeable castellations and roof slope (see other
paintings) is Sarum St. Thomas and St. Edmund, at
the north end of the High Street.
||St Ann Street, Salisbury
is estimated to have been painted circa 1875, which
places it handily between the two known visits! Like
the Poultry Cross painting above, the purchase (for
£5000 in 1993, we think) was supported by the Art
Fund, and this painting, too, can be seen at
the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum (when on
display) as a result.
St Ann Street's broad road
made it a major route through Salisbury when
Louise painted her picture, a claim it has lost
in the 130 years since. We've been trying to
work out what the cart in the foreground is for.
Assuming the Salisbury authorities had installed
a sewer system by this date, it wouldn't have
been a night soil collector - and we wouldn't
expect it to be around in broad daylight.
Another possibility is a road-mending cart
(basically pothole filling). Or the owner could
be selling different materials by the shovelful
or perhaps sackful. Any better guesses?
Behind is the well-known Salisbury cathedral
with its towering spire - except that it doesn't
really awe you here, so we'd guess that Louise
shrank it to give her picture better balance.
|Below we have two views of St.
Stephen's Gateway, Salisbury, which is the title
of the one on the left, and which we believe was painted before
1877 because it was mentioned in Ellen Clayton's book (see Sources).
However, the location itself was quite fugitive. Salisbury Cathedral
is surrounded by a defensive wall, and the painting certainly
resembled the High Street Gate, but not closely enough to be
confused with it. It had the same arch and the same castellation
along the top, but the decoration was quite different.|
We began to suspect that the same gate might have two different faces
but we were only ever finding one, and Andy King was able to show that this was
indeed the case. We did further searching and learned that the knight on the side
that Louise painted is in early 14th century armour and faces the cathedral,
whereas the side we kept finding faces the city and carries the Royal Coat of Arms.
Both sides have buildings hard up against the arch, so the Cathedral's fear of
invasion has evidently diminished. But we still don't know why the painting is
called St Stephen's Gateway.|
The painting on the right courtesy of Martin Green shows almost exactly the same scene,
but with softer colouring and different figures. Instead of repeating a very similar image,
we've enlarged this section of it to give a closer view of the distant scene and take a
look at the two academics. Academic robes were unusual for the mid-19th century as robes were
only worn at Oxford and Cambridge. Martin's wife says the red edging to the robes is indicative
of Oxford, so to be seen in Salisbury may indicate a "working" visit of some kind.
Mark Edwin Arstall has suggested the possibility that the scholars are the Caldecott brothers,
natives of Chester: Randolph the children's cartoonist who worked on the book about Flint with Louise;
and Rev Alfred who studied at London, Oxford(MA), Cambridge and possibly Salisbury Theological College
(est. 1860). He suggests (no more than that) that the two pictures might have been bought as gifts by
the brothers for each other. A version of Louise's St. Stephen's Gateway, Salisbury
was exhibited at Liverpool in 1873 and again at Birmingham in 1874.
Other Salisbury scenes we know of but haven't yet seen are:
The Close, The Town Gate, Salisbury
(1881); and Silver Street.
We would be very pleased to receive images of them (and any others!). Thank you!
To our pleasure, Ted Hodgetts of Ontario, Canada, forwarded
this untitled painting and asked for information. I wondered
immediately if it could be South Petherton, but didn't want
to prompt anyone into a false identification. But Andy King
also thought it might be that so we sent it to Debbie
Roberts (see Salisbury above), and her cousin Gina Taylor enjoyed
herself touring the local villages and was able to confirm
it was indeed South Petherton. The church itself is called the Parish Church
of St.Peter and St.Paul South Petherton. It has been
suggested that the church spire looks taller in the painting
than it is today. Perhaps a local historian will be able to
help on that - and can anyone suggest a date?
Also, this isn't the painting of South Petherton that we
knew of, so there is another one out there somewhere. If you
know of it and can supply details (or better still an
image), we would be delighted and it would make Debbie
Roberts's life complete!
The painting was auctioned by Waddingtons (Canada) in
November 2006 as Old Market Village,
South Petherton, Somerset and it sold for
| DARTMOUTH & KINGSWEAR
This painting comes to us with the title Kingswear
Dartmouth, but no more exact
location. Since Dartmouth and Kingswear are separate
towns facing each other across the mouth of the
River Dart (albeit almost close enough to shout to
each other), this lacks precision, and we'd be glad
if anyone could identify the scene more closely. But
it does have a minor point of interest: Louise
usually left her signature in the road or on the
pavement - but here it's under the window cill
We don't have any real idea of the date and we don't
know how many times Louise went to the south west,
but we do know (see below) that Louise had created
south western paintings in time for them to be
mentioned in Ellen Clayton's book of 1876.
Finally, we know that Louise did a painting of Winchester's Market Cross;
of Kingswear, Devon
(perhaps the one above - perhaps not); and of the
'soft Devonian landscapes' that Ellen Clayton
mentions in her book. We know prints exist of scenes
in and around Bristol and hope to include some soon,
and surely there are other scenes in south and the
south-west. But we'll have to wait for someone to
send us images before we can include them here.
Harry Drummond, January 2015.
|DudleyMall pages about Louise:|
|Louise at Dudley|| - Front page introduction, Dudley, link to Richard Rayner's work at Dudley.|
|Louise Rayner|| - the main biography, listing some of her early paintings|
|Louise at Chester|| - where Louise made her home and did some of her best work.|
|Louise at Flint|| - her drawings for Henry Taylor's book.|
Louise on expedition:
North to South progression, West before East
|Louise in Scotland|| - Edinburgh|
|Louise in Southern Scotland|| - Roslin Chapel (we have no other Scottish paintings at present)|
|Louise in Northern England|| - York... Selby... Beverley... Durham|
|Louise in Wales and the west Midlands|| - Conway... Ludlow... Gloucester|
|Louise in the South and South West|| - Oxford... Chippenham... Salisbury|
|Louise in Eastern England|| - Lincoln... Derby... Cambridge|
|Louise in London and its region|| - Temple Bar, Drury Lane, Holborn, Greenwich, Eton and Windsor|
|Louise in the South East|| - Tunbridge Wells, Knole, Herstmonceux, Canterbury, Hastings... more|
|Louise Abroad|| - Rheims, Nuremberg, Bruges... and possibly Venice|
|In preparation:|| - The Rayners at Windsor|
Please note: we claim no art expertise, and in no way do we offer provenance for any paintings. What you see here was
compiled out of interest in Louise Rayner's paintings and those by her family, but is based on sometimes very fragmentary
evidence. It is inevitable that there will be errors, though we do correct these when we learn of them.
We would gratefully receive any information or corrections that will help us to fill the gaps and resolve unproved links - for
example confirmation of dates of birth, death, etc., and details of other addresses the family lived at (and roughly when). Images
of any of the family's paintings are also very welcome. And we'd like to thank the many people around the world who have already
contributed - you've helped to make these pages as good as they are. Thank you!
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