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The Boyce Papers: The Letters and Diaries of Joa - 2-volume set, Hardback Book

The Boyce Papers: The Letters and Diaries of Joa - 2-volume set Hardback

Edited by Sue Bradbury


This correspondence, between three artists Joanna Boyce, her brother George P.

Boyce and Henry Wells, whom she eventually married, dates from the period 1845 to 1861.

They were all friends of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite circle, but in addition Henry and Joanna both studied in Paris, and Joanna wrote extensively about her time there, training with Thomas Couture.

She wrote for The Saturday Review as well as painting a small number of very interesting and much admired pictures.

Her brother George established himself as a successful watercolourist and member of the Old Watercolour Society, having been encouraged both by David Cox on his Welsh sketching expeditions, and by Ruskin, whose letters advising him what to paint in Venice are included here.

Henry Wells was primarily a portrait painter. At first he specialised in miniatures, and was commissioned to paint Mary, princess of Cambridge by Queen Victoria.

There are vivid accounts of visits to country houses to carry out commissions from their owners.

The three wrote constantly about techniques of painting and about the new colours that became available at this period, and about their visits to exhibitions both in Paris and London.

They all contributed to the Royal Academy and other exhibitions.

In addition, there is the extraordinary story of Joanna's and Henry's courtship and marriage, at first encouraged and then viciously opposed by Joanna's recently widowed mother. The correspondence survives only in an unpublished transcript made in the 1940s, as the originals were all destroyed in a bombing raid on Bath during the second world war.

Excerpts from George P. Boyce's diaries were published in the 1930s, but the present edition contains a considerable amount of new material.




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