Cyrus Johnson Clare College Back Gates Cambridge watercolour


Cyrus Johnson (1848-1925)

Two Dons Engaged in Conversation by Clare College Back Gates, Cambridge



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Johnson was educated at the Perse Grammar School, becoming a landscape, genre and miniature portrait painter, gaining considerable success in the latter field. He was elected to membership of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1887. From 1871 he was an active exhibitor at these two establishments, and other places including Fine Art Society, Agnew and Sons, Grosvenor Gallery, and the Walker Gallery in Liverpool. Thirteen oil portraits by Johnson are recorded in the National Collection.

In this watercolour, two Dons – one probably a Doctor of Divinity judging by the scarlet – are engaged in conversation by the fine wrought iron back gates of Clare College. The gates are little changed today, although Johnson has included the College Arms over the gates which are no longer present.


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