Walter Herbert Allcott RWA (British, 1880 – 1951)
The Cathedral, Siena; and a view of the Duomo of the rooftops, Florence, Italy (a near pair)
Watercolour and body colour on paper laid down on board
The former inscribed with title and signed ‘WALTER H. ALLCOTT’ (lower right); the latter signed and inscribed on the reverse ‘FLORENCE / Walter H. Allcott’
The former: 11.3/4 x 14.7/8 in. (29.8 x 37.7 cm.) The latter: 11.3/4 x 12.3/4 in. (30 x 32.5 cm.)
These utterly beautiful paintings of Siena and Florence are executed with real architectural and tonal appreciation. The day and night scenes compliment each other in similar muted tones that enrich the detailed compositions. Allcott’s mastery with watercolour is highlighted in the fairly simple colour palette that he has chosen; the gentle ochres and yellows of the Duomo in daytime Florence, and the blues and greys of the Siena Cathedral at nighttime.
Walter Herbert Allcott (1889-1951) was born in Ladywood in Birmingham. He trained at the Birmingham School of Art from 1897-1901. While he began painting oil portraits, he later worked primarily in watercolour and pastel, depicting landscapes and architectural subjects.
He moved to Chipping Camden in Gloucestershire in 1919. In 1920 he became member of the Royal Watercolour Society. In 1921, William John Wainwright, a prominent member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, proposed that he become a member. There, over the period between 1899 and 1939 he exhibited over 200 works.
He travelled widely, frequently travelling to Italy in the 1920s where most likely he carried out these works.