John White Abbott (1763-1851)

Rustic West Country Landscape with Horses Hauling Granite lengths

Blue and grey wash over pen and ink, 7 3/4 x 10 3/4 in ( 19.5 x 27.5 cm) Exhibited, Tim Wilcox - Francis Towne and his Friends no 38 2005 £1,200

In contrast to Towne, who's figures are always generalised, Abbott peopled his landscape with a wide range of characteristic activity. He appears to have taken a genuine interest in all types of rural trades and occupations. His expectation of inheriting James White's estate of Fordlands was talked about in London long before White's death in 1825. Although Abbott continued to reside in Exeter, he then also became a landowner. Even though he did not manage the estate himself, the practical use of the woodland was now a matter of personal interest. Abbott's drawing a team of horses hauling a length of blasted granite shows a different perspective to his usual enjoyment of rampant undergrowth and unkempt woodland. Here, the deep wooded valley and the little fort suggest a scene of the Dart perhaps, with the granite being brought for the construction or repair of a bridge or riverside quay. The watercolour is in wonderful condition. John Spink