William Henry Hunt, Bushey Churchyard, a pen and ink drawing with watercolour
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Bushey, England, AD 1822
The tombs of an important patron's friends and his son
'Bird's nest' Hunt (1790-1864) earned his nickname for his still-lives painted in minute detail using the 'wet white' technique, watercolour and bodycolour over a background of Chinese white, which was so influential on the Pre-Raphaelites. He was apprenticed to John Varley at the same time as John Linnell, both of whom fell under the influence of William Blake, but Hunt appears to have remained untouched. Through Varley, and with Linnell, he met Dr Thomas Monro and joined his 'academy'. This gathering of watercolourists met both at Monro's London home, and at his country house near Bushey, Hertfordshire. Hunt had problems walking, so Monro arranged for him to be 'trundled on a sort of barrow with a hood over it, which was drawn by a man or a donkey while he made sketches'.
This scene shows the tombs of the artists Thomas Hearne (died 1817) and Henry Edridge (died 1821), and Dr Monro's son Henry (died 1814). All three were encouraged in watercolour by Monro, who is shown on horseback at the right of the picture. The drawing is a replica made for Monro shortly after the original (which is now in the Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut).
Height: 320 mm
Width: 414 mm
Object reg. no: PD 1921,0714.14
Department of Prints & Drawings