The Black Gate, Castle Garth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, watercolour and graphite on paper, signed WJM, William James Muller, c1835.
Watercolour and graphite on paper, signed initials WJM. Inscribed Castle. Dimensions : Frame : 435mm x 348mm x 15mm. Image : 240mm x 166mm. Weight : 1.260kg net. Condition : Good.
The Black Gate, Castle Garth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, watercolour and graphite on paper, faintly signed initials WJM, William James Muller. c1835.
Dimensions : Frame : 435mm x 348mm x 15mm. Image : 240mm x 166mm. Weight : 1.260kg net.
Condition/Notes : Good. The watercolour and graphite study of the Black Gate at Castle Garth is in good condition with slight colour fading. There is a light surface abrasion at the top centre edge above the rh side of the uppermost window and on the rh edge at the mount window above the first small shop's shelter, but these are not noticeable in normal viewing. The painting is titled CASTLE at the top rh corner in light handscript and there is indistinct light script to the left of this. The study depicts the ancient gateway to Garth Castle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne c1835 when according to historical records the building was reduced to a slum dwelling accommodating about 12 families, small shops and a public house and led through to the trading street inside the castle grounds. This was a typical subject studied by the artist who produced many drawings and paintings of historical social observation, such as the Bristol riots, and studies of architecture and picturesque historical buildings all over the country and the Middle East. The frame was opened for internal examination revealing the following : The painting is displayed within an off-white mount board sandwich which is hinged on the lh edge; the painting is hinged at the top edge to the base mount board. Verso display window mount is inscribed Manning B 7588 (possibly the framer's customer reference) and verso painting is inscribed Black Gate in ink handscript. The sandwich base mount verso is inscribed six in a circle. (See these images below). There is a faint signature in initials WJM in the lower rh corner of the painting which is concealed by the mount board (see the images below). There is no other visible script on the mount boards and the frame has been resealed. The mount boards are in good clean condition with toning to the window cut edges. The standard wooden frame is in sturdy condition with scuffing and chipping to edges. Frame backing board is secured with old panel pins sealed with old gummed tape - this has been resealed with new gummed tape leaving visible any script. On the upper edge is written in handscript William James Muller 1812-1845. Along the lh edge is stencilled in ink 625 RB. Several numbers are written in ink 10877, 18656, 2, 72, and dates in chalk 178, 182, 16 July 68 and 12 Dec 67. Overall, a very interesting historical painting depicting the actual condition of the Black Gate c1835 as the associated buildings were demolished in the late 19th century when the Society of Antiquaries leased and rehabilitated the structure in 1883; they still occupy the building to this day.
Please view the images below :
Castle in handscript top rh corner.
Faint signature in initials WJM in lower rh corner (concealed by mount when framed).
Faint signature in initials WJM lower rh corner, concealed by mount when framed.
Mount board verso with handscript Manning B 7588
Painting verso with title Black Gate in handscript.