Thomas Gray Hart (1797-1881)
Southampton from the Water
Framed and glazed
Overall size including frame: 75.7 x 96.5 cm
This extremely atmospheric work shows God's House tower to the extreme right. Built as a gatehouse in the late 15th century, it was adopted as the town goal by the 18th century, a role it retained until 1855. Much of the waterside seen in this view has been reclaimed and today is largely covered with commercial buildings.
Thomas Gray Hart was born in Fareham in 1797 and educated at Burney's Academy in Clarence Square, Gosport. In 1825, aged 28, he settled in Southampton and lived there until his death in 1881.
An exhibition to mark the centenary of Hart's birth was held in Southampton in 1897, the preface stating: 'His vision was atmospheric. His works are undoubtedly Turneresque - though they are quite independent in their originality'. Hart, who was a friend of the other celebrated Southampton artists, the Shayers, was believed to be acquainted with Turner.