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Douglas from the Nunnery Howe

Date made: c.1833

Artist: Strutt, James

Description: Douglas from the Nunnery Howe, painted by landscape artist James Strutt. The painting dates from c.1833 and shows the development of Douglas. It is one of the earliest known oil paintings showing Douglas from this period.

James Strutt (1809-1835) was a talented landscape painter who died tragically young. He was highly regarded in his own lifetime, and might have gone on to become one of the leading artists of the 19th century had he lived. Little is known about his background or how he came to reside on the Isle of Man, but it is believed he was born in America, possibly Philadelphia. His surviving artworks all feature Manx scenes, and he certainly lived and exhibited here as an adult.

His art was highly regarded on the Isle of Man, and Sir William Hillary was a patron and supporter of his work. In 1833 there was a major exhibition of his work at Hillary’s home in Douglas. At this exhibition all of his paintings were sold, which funded his return to America on the grounds of ill health. The Manx newspapers at the time reported on the exhibition stating “The Island never had, and probably, will never again, enjoy the advantage of such an artist, and one who has supplied so many beautiful pictures of her towns, her sea views, and castellated remains. Every family, who possess any taste for the fine arts, should take advantage of this sale”. Manx Sun, 2 July 1833.

Strutt did move back to Philadelphia in 1833, but must have returned to the Isle of Man shortly after. It is recorded that he died in the Isle of Man on 18 December 1835, in a property on James Street in Douglas.

Measurements: unframed artwork: 68 cm x 80 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1960-0013

Subject tags : #artgalleryplace


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