Ernest Waterlow

British, b.1850, d.1919

A pool amongst the hills

  • c. 1905
  • Watercolour
  • Presented to the Canterbury Society of Arts by Sir John Hall, 1906, given to the Gallery, 1932
  • 1003 x 817mm
  • 70/67

London-born Ernest Waterlow was at the peak of his reputation when honorary Christchurch mayor Sir John Hall purchased this gentle pastoral scene from the 1906–07 New Zealand International Exhibition and presented it to the Canterbury Society of Arts. Waterlow had been knighted in the 1902 Coronation Honours, became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1903, and was president of the Royal Watercolour Society from 1897 to 1914. He was a traditionalist in his approach to art, constructing his paintings in his studio based on outdoor studies, rather than working wholly en plein air.

Ship Nails and Tail Feathers, 10 June – 22 October 2023

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Ernest Waterlow specialised in painting idealised pastoral scenes that often featured flocks of sheep being tended in pleasant rural landscapes.

    Waterlow completed his highly-finished paintings in his studio from sketches made outdoors. He tried, but abandoned, painting outdoors and an article in The Art Journal of 1890 commented: “Quite alive to the advantages of plein air … he cannot save himself from confusion in attempting a large canvas, while the myriad details clamour around him as he works.”

    Born in London, Waterlow was the son of a lithographer. He initially went to Carey’s School of Art, then studied in Lausanne and Heidelberg before entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1872. He won the Turner Gold Medal for landscape painting in 1873. He was President of the Royal Watercolour Society from 1897 to 1914. Waterlow was knighted in 1902 and became a member of the Royal Academy in 1903. (Label date unknown)