Watercolour on paper
600 x 1226mm
The Bealey Valley is a fine example of John Gully’s large-scale landscape watercolour style. The artist’s sources lie in the watercolours of J. M. W. Turner and the writings of John Ruskin; like Turner, he achieved dramatic effects by applying multiple washes, then scraping or sponging back the colour.
Gully’s compositions invariably fell back on the Claudian formula of a high foreground which then recedes into a misty distance. Foreground detail often comprises carefully placed battered trees or light-catching rocks and spectator figures. Landscapes are consistently poeticised by misty atmospheres, as here, or sunset glows.
Another work in the Fletcher Trust Collection that shows the Bealey is Below the Bealey, Canterbury by Grace Butler.
Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased from R. H. and J. L. Catley, 13 May 1991