John Baptist Malchair (1730 – 1812)

View from the Master’s Lodgings, New College, Oxford (1929)



33 x 46 cm

A 1929 lithograph from a 1767 watercolour of New College by John Malchair. The artist’s composition highlights the pale stone of New College on a winter’s day. The chapel’s spires stretch upward into a cold, cloud-filled sky, as do the bare branches of the trees.

Malchair’s watercolour (which is held by the Ashmolean museum) was reproduced as a lithograph in 1929, to be published in the “Oxford Almanack”. The Oxford Almanack was an annual almanac published by the Oxford University Press for the University of Oxford from 1674 through 2019 (when printing sadly ceased due to “dwindling interest”). The almanac traditionally included engravings or lithographs of the University and information about the upcoming year. Other almanac artists have included James Basire, Michael Burghers, J. M. W. Turner, and John Piper.

Malchair was a German-born watercolourist, violinist, drawing master, and collector of traditional European music. He is described as “one of the most distinctive figures of eighteenth century Oxford”, and is recognised as having been an influence on later landscape artists, including John Constable. Malchair was a talented artist, producing hundreds of paintings of English landscapes. His legacy is the collection of hundreds of sketches and watercolours of historical, architectural and topographical interest, particularly of Oxford’s medieval buildings.

Condition: very good.

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