caption

Sebastian Pether, Ruin in a Landscape

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)

Details

Country House
Trewithen
Title(s)
Ruin in a Landscape
Date
? c.1810–20
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Overall height: 33.5 cm, Overall width: 49 cm
Artist
Sebastian Pether (1790-1844)
Catalogue Number
TN9

Description

Sebastian Pether was born at York Cottage, Battersea, the eldest son of the landscape painter Abraham Pether (1756–1812). Like his father, he was known principally for his dramatic moonlit landscapes, often featuring Gothic ruins and towers. Pether exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1812, as well as the British Institution and the Society of British Artists at Suffolk Street. He painted a number of ambitious historical landscapes, including the Eruption of Vesuvius with the Destruction of a Roman City (1824; Museum of Fine Arts, Baltimore). Having married ‘too young and too poor’, Pether was increasingly compelled to sell his landscape ‘potboilers’ directly to picture dealers for relatively low prices in order to support a wife and growing family. In 1842 he submitted three pictures to the annual exhibition at the Royal Academy in an attempt to revive his fortunes. Their rejection precipitated further ill-health. Pether died in Battersea in March 1844, by which time three of his grown-up children had died of consumption and he himself had been reduced to penury. A subscription was raised by the Art Union to support his family.1 Pether’s younger brother Henry (1800–1865) was also a landscape painter, while his son, William, worked as a mosaicist.

by Martin Postle

Footnotes

  1. The Gentleman’s Magazine, no. 177, 17 July 1844, p. 99.

    1

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