Victorian Watercolours

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Victorian watercolors (c.1835-c.1900) represent the culmination of developments described under Late Georgian watercolors. They are a remarkable high point in the watercolor tradition, both in the diversity of the artistic styles and in the technical sophistication of the paintings. Yet this is also a period of imaginative mediocrity and naked kitsch: as Martin Hardie wrote, "to a large extent the water-colours of the Victorian era reflect the dullness, vulgarity, pretentiousness and self-righteousness of the period." Unfortunately, this dour critical verdict has consigned many amazing technical achievements to unjustified obscurity. These works still have much to teach the contemporary painter.

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