Bernard Cecil Gotch (1876-1964)

Oriel Square, Oxford, at the entrance to Bear Lane



27 x 36.5 cm

Signed in pencil lower left.

Oriel Square in the afternoon. Two undergraduates lean against the walls of Oriel College, talking, and another group make their way inside. Vintage cars (dating the picture to the 1920s, or 1930s?) are parked outside its gates, and the Oriel flag flies high.

Bernard Cecil Gotch was a Winchester-born artist who is best known for his atmospheric watercolours of Britain’s towns and cities (most notably Oxford).

He moved to Oxford in 1927, painting many watercolours of the interiors and exteriors of Oxford’s many buildings. His works concentrate on the grand exteriors and interiors of the University’s colleges, and he exhibited frequently – including an exhibition every term at Oriel College.

His first notable commission was for the publisher Methuen, illustrating ‘A Shepherd’s Life’ by W H Hudson. Whilst in London he was invited to illustrate a book on the Public Schools of England (which was sadly never completed). He exhibited watercolours at the Fine Art Society and Lincolns Inn, and also exhibited at the Royal Academy.

In 1952 Gotch was given an Honorary MA by the University of Oxford, and, after his death in 1963, a memorial was held for him at Oriel.

Condition: very good.

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