Circle of Petit Exhibition

10.1  Falaise Castle,  Emma Petit

1859, 26x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

Not always easy to tell from the photograph, this picture is attributed to his sister Emma because of the handwriting and labeling on the back, being part of a different series than one Petit himself used. Artistically it is also typical of Emma, the building does not stand quite as well, and the foliage impressions presented differently. Yet as usual it was sold as a Rev Petit by a dealer who did not know better and had bought it in a big Petit lot.

10.2 Freybourg E Petit

1856, 26x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

A weaker picture by Emma where the direct comparison with what JLP did on that day has been traced. Emma’s colours are bolder however the architecture does not quite work. Nevertheless plenty of observers have found that it is more attractive as a picture for a wall because of the bolder colour.

Freybourg, Rev J L Petit


1856, 26x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

JLP’s version shows a differently shaped tower and more restrained colour, even though this is relatively well coloured for a Petit of a church. Side by side the differences are obvious, however unfortunately many circle pictures have been sold as Petits.


10.3. Caerdeon, Maria Jelf (Nee Petit)

Undated, 26x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection. Signed.

Maria painted in softer colours. Her husband, Rev Jelf commissioned Petit to build a church at Caerdeon in North Wales which was constructed from 1861-62. This could have been painted a few years before or after that date. As with Emma, both have characteristics of Petit, but yet are distinct.

10.4 Bois Guillaume, France, Attributed To Miss Emma Petit

1863, 24x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

This is a church example, again probably Emma, because of the handwriting and the series from which it is taken, but in fact hard to attribute definitively between the sisters. 

10.5 Tewkesbury Abbey, Elizabeth Haig (Nee Petit)

1862, 24x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection, initialled on back

Elizabeth’s sometimes carry the initials EW on her series on the backs, and have this softer feel than Emma’s, and even more so than Maria’s. They can be attractive as gentle landscapes where Petit often preferred to show the awesomeness of nature.

10.6 Minieh, Egypt, probably Elizabeth Haig


1865, 27x36cm, watercolour on paper, private collection, 

At least two other family artists accompanied Petit in Egypt. One was Emma Petit, another Elizabeth. Their pictures survived in greater quantities. Many were done carefully and sold well (mistakenly as Petits) in the early part of the century.

Close Menu