The highpoint of Callow's long career as a watercolorist was during the 1830s, when he shared a studio in Paris with Thomas Shotter Boys and felt the influence of Richard Parkes Bonnington. During this time he obtained permission to visit the private gardens at Versailles to produce a series of illustrations to London publisher Charles Heath's Picturesque Annual for 1839-Versailles. The lively Bassin de Neptune features a fountain designed by Andre le Nôtre in 1678-82 with a sculptural group of Neptune and Amphitrite executed in 1740 by Lambert-Sigisbert Adam. The more contemplative Petit Hameau (2007.82) records Marie Antoinette's private rustic retreat constructed in 1783.
The Gardens of Versailles with the Fountain of Neptune (Le Bassin de Neptune, Versailles)
Watercolor with scratching out for whites on paper.
7 7/8 x 11 5/8 inches (201 x 287 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund 1978.
Signed and dated lower left in pen and brown ink, "1837". Verso: "16" inscribed in graphite, lower right.
The Fine Art Society; private collection, U.K.; acquired from Andrew Clayton Payne, Ltd., London.