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James Johnson

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Scenery of Bristol sold

Scenery of Bristol   1823

Original lithographs by Francis Danby, Samuel Jackson and James Johnson.

The complete folio containing three original lithographs, stitched in original brown paper wrappers, as first published. Extremely rare.

The folio contains:
“View from Kings, Weston Hill” by Francis Danby
“Redcliffe Church” by James Johnson
“View of St. Vincents Rocks, and the Old Hotwell House” by Samuel Jackson

The three original lithographs are stitched, as issued, into the original brown printed wrapper which reads “No. Price 7/6 (inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand). Three Views, illustrative of The Scenery of Bristol, and its Vicinity / London: Printed and published by Rowney and Forster, at their lithographic press, no.51, Rathbone Place. / 1823.” When writing on this folio in The Bristol School of Artists. Francis Danby and Painting in Bristol 1810-1840, Francis Greenacre remarks “They are the finest engraved Bristol views but of considerable rarity” (City Art Gallery Bristol, September 1973, p.96, item 72).

This exceptionally rare folio contains Francis Danby’s only original lithograph.



A Bristol artist, James Johnson was described by George Cumberland as “a very clever artist” and “a worthy pupil” of Francis Danby. An accomplished draughtsman, James Johnson is now considered to have been one of the finest landscape painters of the Bristol School. His earliest dated drawing is of 1819 and by 1821 he was producing a number of highly accomplished local views. At the time of this lithograph he was working closely with Francis Danby and was very much a part of his evening sketching groups. Like others of the Bristol School he produced imaginary landscapes as well as those of the local area. James Johnson appears to have been plagued by some form of mental illness and after his untimely death at the age of only 31 Francis Danby remarked “I never met a young man who I more highly esteemed”. [more]