Highlights of paintings in our collection from the 19th century include:
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Gibside from the North, c.1817 Watercolour on paper
Commissioned directly from the artist by the 10th Earl of Strathmore, John Bowes' father, it was purchased by the Museum in 1985.
Near the centre of the watercolour is Gibside House. Now an empty shell, the estate has been the property of the Bowes family since the early 18th century.
Turner has also included the Column to Liberty
Along with these two structures Turner has carefully sketched the weir or High Dam with its Slitting Mill Race, constructed around 1697 to lead water into Ambrose Crowley’s Winlaton Ironworks further north.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Gibside, County Durham the Seat of the Earl of Strathmore, c. 1817, Watercolour on paper
Commissioned from Turner for inclusion as a print in Robert Surtees’s 'The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham', Turner’s main viewpoint here was from the south of Gibside, at Bryan’s Leap and is still recognisable today.
Joséphine Bowes: Artist and Collector
Josephine took painting lessons from Karl Josef Kuwasseg (1802-1877). Kuwasseg was born in Austria in 1802 and trained in Vienna and settled in Paris in around 1830 and was naturalised as a French citizen in 1870. Like most women in the 19th century Joséphine would not have had access to life models. Joséphine developed considerable skill as a landscape painter.
Her skill was recognised by the establishment when had a number of paintings accepted at Paris Salon during the 1860s.
1867 Salon, Lisiere d’une Foret, J.3
Current title: Landscape with Trees and Cattle
Also exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1868 Forest Scene in France No.237
1868 Salon, Souvenir de Normandie: soleil couchant, J.13
Current title: Landscape with River and Trees: Sunset
1869 Salon, En Savoie: pays, J.53
Current title: Souvenir of Savoy: Sunrise in the Mountains
Also exhibited at the Brussels Exhibition in the autumn of 1869.
1870 Salon, Marée montante prés Boulogne-sur-Mer, J.44
Current title: Squally Weather: Sketch near Boulogne.
During the 1860s Joséphine Bowes collected a large number of paintings by her contemporaries. She may have been introduced to some of these artists through her painting tutor Kuwasseg. There are four paintings in the collection by Adolphe-Félix Cals (1810-1880) who was a friend of Kuwasseg. A portrait in the collection of Kuwasseg by Cals dated 1867 would support this theory.
Joséphine Bowes also bought works from the marine artist Baron Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin (1802-1880). Gudin was an extremely accomplished artist and enjoyed the patronage of King Louis-Phillippe who had commissioned 97 paintings from the artist for the Palace of Versailles. Joséphine Bowes may have developed a friendship with Gudin as 'On the sands near Ostend' was presented to her by the artist as a gift.