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Attributed to William Mulready, 1786–1863

Lock gate

Oil on millboard
12 1/4 × 9 7/8 inches (31.1 × 25.1 cm)

Inscribed in black ink, verso: "Sketch from nature | by W. Mulready"; Inscribed on label on verso: “P4279 | This charming bit of Painting by | W. Mulready was bought by Mr Wyatt | of Oxford at Mulready’s Sale, exchanged | by him with W. Delamotte, artist. | From his son Philip Delamotte it | passed to me Geo. Gaskoin”

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
brick | chimney (architectural element) | fence | gate | hat | houses | landscape | lock (hydraulic structure) | man | pebbles | pond | rural ... | sky | trees | water
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Attributed to William Mulready (1786-1863), the artist [1]; acquired by James Wyatt (1774-1853), Oxford, England [2]; exchanged with William Alfred Delamotte (1775-1863), 1797-1803? [3]; by descent to his son, Philip Henry Delamotte (1821-1889); acquired by George Gaskoin [4]; … ; purchased at auction by J. S. Maas & Co Ltd., London at Christie, Manson & Woods, London, July 10, 1964 (lot 125, 'The Lock Gate'), in “Genre and Landscape Pictures of the 19th and 20th Centuries" [a]; purchased by Paul Mellon (1907-1999), December 1964 [5]; bequest to the Yale Center for British Art, 1981.

[1] Per an inscription on the painting's verso: "Sketch from Nature|by W. Mulready." Yet Katheryn Moore Heleniak only tentatively attributes the work to the artist in William Mulready (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), 224, https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/orbis:579277.

[2] Per a second inscription on a label attached to the painting's verso: "P4279 | This charming bit of Painting by | W. Mulready was bought by Mr Wyatt | of Oxford at Mulready’s Sale, exchanged | by him with W. Delamotte, artist. | From his son Philip Delamotte it|passed to me Geo. Gaskoin." James Wyatt and his son James (1810-1882) were framemakers and art dealers on High Street in Oxford. The Wyatts were in business there for nearly 70 years. James Sr. ultimately became mayor of Oxford in 1842. See https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/research/programmes/conservation/directory-of-british-framemakers/w. Note that neither Wyatt was listed as a buyer of Lock Gate in Mulready's April 28, 1864 sale at Christie's. See https://doi.org/10.1163/2210-7886_ASC-27897.

[3] English landscape and topographical artist and engraver. Moved to Oxford after studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Worked in Oxford between 1797 and 1803, per The Oxford Companion to JMW Turner, eds. Evelyn Joll, Martin Butler, & Luke Herrmann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 389. His son was a photographer and illustrator, became Professor of Drawing and Fine Art at King's College London, and taught Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

[4] Possibly the dermatologist, surgeon, and translator George Gaskoin, M.R.C.S., L.S.A. (1817-1887), 7 Westbourne-Park, Paddington, Westminster. An 1887 address by the President of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society claims Gaskoin "held the appointment of surgeon to the Artists' Benevolent Fund," "was a man of much general information, [and] was well read," https://archive.org/details/b2229501x/page/33/mode/2up?q=Gaskoin. Gaskoin "never married" and "died…at the residence of his brother in Wales." His sister Marion proved his will, https://www.ancestrylibrary.com/discoveryui-content/view/1335372:1904?tid=&pid=&queryId=8bc52644a13321d00588fd0cd9b64cd6&_phsrc=XJY4&_phstart=successSource. Gaskoin's estate at the time of death only valued £545, suggesting perhaps he did liquidate his art earlier in 1885. The British Museum's online catalog associates 7 objects with George Gaskoin and invokes the estate sale of a General Frederick Gascoigne on April 3, 1884 and an 1885 Sotheby's sale. See https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIOG28487. Lock Gate does not appear at the 1884 sale, https://doi.org/10.1163/2210-7886_ASC-43831. The 1885 sale was on July 2 and consisted of 86 paintings and 101 drawings, https://doi.org/10.1163/2210-7886_ASC-45068. Sotheby's advertised "the collection of George Gaskoin, Esq." in The Atheneum that year, e.g., https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.l0082553876?urlappend=%3Bseq=820%3Bownerid=13510798901904130-878.

[5] Lock Gate appeared as cat no. 76 in Exhibition of small English pictures, 1730-1930 (London: Maas Gallery, 1965), https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/orbis:4673719. Mellon bought four works at this show. These were a "Landscape with ruined castle and figures" by John Inigo Richards (possibly Corfe Castle, https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:1010), Shore Scene with Bathing Huts and Figures by Philip Wilson Steer (https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:54288), and Littlehempston, Totnes by Frederick William Watts.

[a] Christie, Manson & Woods. Genre and landscape pictures of the 19th and 20th centuries. July 10, 1964. https://worldcat.org/en/title/171335370

Roads to Rails - Revolution in British Transport (Yale Center for British Art, 1992-04-15 - 1992-06-28) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Christie's sale catalogue : Genre and landscape pictures of the 19th and 20th centuries : 10 July 1964, Christie's, July 10, 1964, p. 27, lot 125, Auction Catalogues (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 166-167, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Elisabeth Fairman, Roads to rails : revolution in British transport : exhibition labels, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1992, unpaginated, no. 193, HE243 .F251 1992 [ORBIS]

Elisabeth Fairman, Roads to rails : revolution in British transport, , New Haven, CT, 1992, pp. 16, 20, no. 193, HE243 .F25 1992 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Kathryn Moore Heleniak, William Mulready, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1980, p. 224, no. 194, pl. 196, NJ18 .M9483 H45 1980 [ORBIS]

Maas Gallery Ltd., Exhibition of small English pictures, 1730-1930 : Maas Gallery, 23rd November until 23rd December, 1964, Maas Gallery Ltd., London, 1964, p. 17, no. 76, DealerCat Maas Gallery (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Oil paintings and water colour drawings, the property of George Gaskoin, Esq. : 2 July 1885, Sotheby's, July 2, 1885, p. 5, lot 32, Film B12 [ORBIS]

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