Later Finished Work

9.1 Saumur, Rev J L Petit

1854, 25x35cm, watercolour on paper, the I Cooke collection

Here Petit combined several of his favourite subjects: the water and boat, and the view of the town with castle and church vying for importance.

9.2 Lichfield, Rev J L Petit

Undated c1860, 25x35cm, watercolour on paper, the I Cooke collection

Petit lived in Lichfield for most of his life, and returned there for some months even in years when he travelled a lot. He drew Lichfield Cathedral over 100 times in later years, from every angle, as he seemed to use it to try out different styles and effects and also perhaps for relaxation. There are pictures under storm clouds and snow, and indeed Petit more often shows stormy skies whether reflecting his mood or the frequency of rain. This however is one of the sunniest.

9.3 Pierrefit, SW France, Rev J L Petit (1801-68),

c1858, 17x25cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

Other exceptional groups do exist from the later years. This is an example from a small album used occasionally during 1858 and his trip from south west France into Spain and Morocco. During the same period Petit continued to draw the usual architectural sketches daily. Hence one may assume it is a rare example of a drawing done as a work of art in this period.

9.4 Olive Trees, Corfu, Rev J L Petit

1857, 36x27cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

Corfu was visited after the journey down the Adriatic (see Spalato 7.6 above) on his trip to Greece and Turkey in 1857. This however is completely unlike architectural sketches. The church seen through the trees here is sketched separately and here plays a supporting role

9.5 Absolom’s Tomb, Near Jerusalem, Rev J L Petit

1865, 39x22cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

In 1864 and 1865 Petit toured Egypt and ‘Syria’. In the Syria group many of Petit’s drawings are completely different from the typical sketches in colour and size, such as this taken just outside Jerusalem. It was copied directly in the Ilam Anastatic drawing Society album of 1866 and a similar view used in Petit’s Archaeological Institute article on his trip to the Middle East. The colouring is quite unlike his work in other countries

9.6 Near Bumblekyte, Upper Longdon, Staffs, Rev J L Petit

1867, 38x28cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

In the second to last year of his life, aged 67, Petit was still experimenting. This picture is drawn with bolder impressionistic brushstrokes, for a different effect than previous work. Far different from exotic views of distant famous places, this is the lane at the bottom of the garden of his house outside Lichfield. There were few British impressionists, the trend having been captured by the very precise, detailed pre-Raphaelites.

9.7 Cat And Chicken, B’kyte, Staffs, Rev J L Petit

1868, 26x37cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

So far about 10 drawings of Petit’s pets have been found, and the total is likely to be less than 25, all in the last years of his life. While there is no background, the accuracy and care in the drawings of animals shows that Petit was far more than just a painter of architecture and shipping

9.8 Brussels, Rev J L Petit

1854, 25x35cm, watercolour on paper, private collection

Lastly, another town view showing Brussels cathedral dominating its town. On this trip Petit was accompanied by at least two members of family, as usual, and to this circle the final section is added.

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