Martin Snape (1852-1930) - Gosport's Celebrated Artist
We currently have a selection of works by Martin and William Hamilton Snape on view in our gallery.
The Richard Martin Gallery have specialised in works by Martin Snape and his brother William Hamilton Snape since the gallery opened in 1980. Should you have a picture by either artist that you would like an opinion on, or that you would like to sell, please don't hesitate to contact us.
We frequently display works by Martin and William Snape in our gallery and hold an annual exhibition every November.
Brief Biography of Martin Snape
Martin Snape was born in 1852 at Spring Garden Cottage in Gosport, one of six children of Alfred and Sarah Snape. Alfred was an art master and probably taught at nearby Burney's Academy, the school that Martin was to attend himself. Both Martin and his brother William Hamilton Snape (1862-1904) would become artists.
Martin was married to Clara in 1899 and would continue to live at Spring Garden Cottage until his death in 1930, establishing a fine reputation as a painter of Portsmouth Harbour, Gosport and the wider area, exhibiting a few times at the Royal Academy. A keen observer of the countryside, Snape was considered a local authority on its field-craft and folklore. He maintained a long-lasting friendship with Edward Prideaux-Brune, the popular rector of Rowner Church, and the two corresponded almost daily, sharing an enthusiastic interest in the flora and fauna of Hampshire.
Martin's friend Frederick Davison, who also drew the only known portrait of the artist, observed: "Martin Snape's recording of the ever changing scene in and around Portsmouth Harbour from sunrise to sunset, at low water and high water, the stench of the mud and vibrating greens, those rusty hulks against a background of yachts and the might of the navy, has never been so vividly portrayed by any other artist of the time". Another revealing letter from a student of Snape's describes him as having rather an artistic bent: "A quiet, kind, inward-thinking man who dressed badly and needed a shave most times".
William Hamilton Snape was born in Spring Garden Cottage ten years after his brother Martin in 1862. He tended to specialise in oil paintings, many of which were portraits or interior scenes. He died in 1904 at his home at Camden Street, Gosport, in somewhat tragic circumstances aged just 42 years, at a time when his career was blossoming.
Portrait by Frederick Davison, charcoal drawing, 1928
Below are a selection of works by Martin and William Snape that have passed through the gallery in recent years.
Harbour Row, Gosport by Martin Snape, oil on canvas (currently for sale)
Coldharbour, Gosport by Martin Snape, oil on canvas
Hulks in Portsmouth Harbour by Martin Snape, watercolour
Hardway by William Hamilton Snape, oil on canvas (currently for sale)
Coaling Hulks by William Hamilton Snape, grey watercolour (currently for sale)
HMS Victory in Portsmouth Harbour by Martin Snape, watercolour
Fareham Mill by Martin Snape, watercolour
The Hot Walls by Martin Snape, Old Portsmouth, watercolour