Arthur Melville

The Sapphire Sea

About this artwork

This spectacular watercolour depicts the port of Passages on the Atlantic coast of Spain, near San Sebastian. Melville first visited Spain in the spring of 1890; the experience inspired an enduring fascination with the light and landscape of Spain. This work was painted on a tour of northern Spain in early 1892 with fellow artist Frank Brangwyn. Brangwyn wrote that Passages was ‘a tiny Venice in which time had stood still for two centuries…’. Melville evolved his own technique of watercolour painting, applying a ground of diluted Chinese white to prepare the paper before applying colour. This is probably what gives his colours such depth and richness allowing him to capture the jewel like colours of the Middle East.

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  • title:
    The Sapphire Sea
  • accession number:
    NGL 003.11
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Watercolour on paper
  • date created:
    Unknown
  • measurements:
    120.00 x 80.00 cm (framed: 111.50 x 84.20 x 9.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Private Collection on long term loan to the National Galleries of Scotland

Arthur Melville

Arthur Melville

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