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Frederick Walker and the Idyllists

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We are thrilled to be publishing Frederick Walker and the Idyllists by Donato Esposito, the first book in over a century to explore the work of watercolour artist and illustrator Frederick Walker (1840–1875), described by Sir John Everett Millais as “the greatest artist of the century”, as well as that of his closest artistic allies.

Donato Esposito focuses successive chapters on the lives and works of each of the core members of Walker’s group, charting their unconventional journey from a loosely bound collective rooted in the London-based black-and-white world of commercial illustration to a renowned grouping known as the Idyllists, respected and eagerly collected by galleries and private individuals in Europe, America and Australia.

In this blog post, we offer you a preliminary glimpse into this publication, which features a wealth of beautiful illustrations.

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John William North, The Home Pond (from A Round of Days), 1866, Wood engraving                  17.7 x 13.4 cm, Royal Academy of Arts, London

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Frederick Walker, The First Swallow, 1867 Water colour and bodycolour 35.2 x 23.9 cm,       British Museum, London, Bequeathed by Cecil French, 1954

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George John Pinwell, The Quarrel: Old Cross, c.1870 Oil on canvas, 98.5 x 130.1 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Purchased 1909

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John William North, An English Summer’s Day, 1891-2 Oil on canvas 89.8 x 106.7 cm          National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Purchased 1892


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Cecil Lawson, In the Minister’s Garden, 1878 Oil on canvas, 184.2 x 275 cm                       Manchester Art Gallery, Purchased 1883

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Robert Walker Macbeth, The Cast Shoe, 1890 Oil on canvas, 83.2 x 137.2 cm, Tate, London, Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest, 1890

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George Heming Mason, The Gander, 1864-5 Oil on canvas 48.5 x 83.6 cm, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Presented by Lord Leverhulme, 1922


Frederick Walker and the Idyllists will be released on 24 July, but is already available for preorder on our website.

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