<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Garnett, John, b. ca. 1791?


Yorkshire, circa 1811.
Physical Description:
1 v. ([74] leaves) : ill. ; 16 x 21 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DA670.C88 G37 1811
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Drawings & Watercolors
The present sketchbook is inscribed, at front and back, "John Garnett, Pooley Bridge" the location referring to a small village situated on the north east end of Ullswater in the Lake District. This may be the same John Garnett as the one recorded in the census of 1841, as a resident of Skipton, aged 50. The British Book Trade Index notes that John Garnett, of Skipton, was active from 1828 to 1849 as bookseller, stationer, bookbinder, and printer. This John Garnett may also be the same as the publisher (at Windermere) of guide books to the Lake District. One such guide, published by Garnett in 1855, includes an advertisement describing him as "printer, bookseller, stationer, and librarian, post-office, Windermere," from whom could be had Winsor and Newton's artist materials "for oil and water colour painting, sketching, &c.; all the guide books, views, and every other article in his business useful to visitor of the Lake District."
Bound in contemporary quarter calf and marbled boards.
Manuscript album of 42 sketches of views in Yorkshire, in various media, by John Garnett, circa 1811. Many of the drawings depict landscapes on or near the Gisburn Park estate of Lord Ribblesdale, at Craven in Yorkshire. There are also a number of portraits depicting members of the Gisburn estate household. Most of the views are in watercolor over pen and ink; a number of others are in pen and ink alone, and a smaller number are in graphite. Some of the sketches are dated, between 1808 and 1811.
Evidence in the album suggests that Garnett was employed as an agent of Lord Ribblesdale, and that Garnett traveled to London on his behalf to promote zinc white mined at Craven (beginning in 1809), for use in white paint. In London, on 26 October 1810, Garnett calls upon the painter Benjamin West. He notes: "Oct 26th call'd upon Mr. B. West the historical painter to show him a specimen of some different colours, first Zink white manufactured by Lord Ribblesdale, 2d three different specimens of iron stone got upon the shore at Tinmouth which he approved of the lightest to be the best for a flesh tint. It was got ought of the seme of great stone undere the east side of Tinmouth Castle. I gave him specimens of them, also of a dark purple colour got at a print work at Chorley. Mr. West much approved of it and wished me get him some of it. In the return of friendship he gave me some of his Indian red and also tould me the method of using it with some other colours in flesh painting." There follows two pages of detailed instructions from West, who “calls the art of painting a kind of philosophy which may be call'd properly when the colours harmonize in the gradation of light and shadow which I perceive to be in his works throughout the whole.” Garnett obviously got on well with West, who not only provides him with instructions and hints on painting, but also writes an introduction for him to study at the British Institution. The notes he made on his visit to the British Institution are also recorded in this volume. Further pages record other colors and tints and where he obtained them, e.g. “yellow oker got at Tinmouth upon the shore on the south west side. It is formed in the rock like eggs ...” There are a number of color samples within the manuscript text.
Places featuring prominently in the sketches include: York, Skipton, Craven, the River Wharfe, Bolton Abbey, Gisburn Park (estate of Lord Ribblesdale), Malham Cove, Malham Tarn, and the village of Malham (a caption of which reads: "on the right hand in foreground is Lord Ribalsdale's Manufactory of Zink white from the ore call'd callomy got abought that neighbours cavern.")
Subject Terms:
British Institution.
Craven (England) -- Pictorial works.
Garnett, John, b. ca. 1791?
Malham (England) -- Pictorial works.
Paint mixing.
Ribblesdale, Thomas Lister, Baron, 1752-1826.
Skipton (England) -- Pictorial works.
West, Benjamin, 1738-1820.
York (England) -- Pictorial works.
Yorkshire (England) -- Pictorial works.
Zinc oxide.
Ink drawings.
Graphite drawings.
Landscape drawings -- England.
Travel sketches -- England.
IIIF Manifest:

Art in Focus : Blue (Yale Center for British Art, 2019-04-05 - 2019-08-11) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.