George Price Boyce was famous British water color painter whose love for landscape paintings and vernacular architecture speaks volumes about his talent. He was born on 24 September 1826 in London in Grays Inn Terrace and was the son of George Boyce, a wine merchant.
His sister Joanna Mary Boyce was also known to be a talented painter.
George is also known to be a very good amateur musician, and good oarsman. He was a close friend and sponsor of Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator.
Rossetti was not much interested in working outdoors so he used to borrow Boyce’s sketches to provide the background for his water color writing on the Sand. George completed his schooling from Chipping Ongar in Essex and higher education from Paris.
His major works were in Pre-Raphaelite style. George Price met artist David Cox, during his early training in architecture. During his training period he developed immense passion on water color paintings and made up his mind to continue it as his profession.
He had a close relationship with Fanny Cornforth, even sexual relationship, but was not in a marital relationship with her. He became the Associate of the Royal Water Color Society in 1864, and full member by 1877.
He was a founder member of the Hogarth Club. Due to his initial education and training being in architecture, he served as one of the leading members of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. His art was exhibited frequently at the Royal Water color Society. His art was mostly focused on English landscapes, which included outlooks of vernacular architecture, especially around the Thames Valley village of Pangbourne, Mapledurham, Whitchurch and Streatley, and in Sussex and Surrey.
Some of George’s famous art works include
Nocturne – during trip to Egypt along with a Swedish artist Egron Sillif Lundgren and and the topographical painter Frank Dillonin the winter of 1861-1862.
The Nile at Gizeh with the Pyramid of Saqqara on the Horizon
The Great Sphinx of Gizeh
The Edge of the Great Desert, near Gizeh
The Call to Prayer, Gizeh, and
A Dust Heap near the Babel Nasr, Cairo.
Boyce went to Dinant in 1853 and visited the Pyrenees and Babbicombe Bay. There, he created some of his masterpieces of water-colors. He made his first public appearance in the same year in London exhibitions where he exhibited some of his fine art works like The Royal Oak, Bettws-y-Coed (a reminiscence of Cox), and Beeches, and to the Academy Timber Yard, Chiddingstone, and East-end of Edward Confessor’s Chapel, Westminster.
Art Journal’s reviewer of the Old Water colour Society wrote in 1865: ‘We … regret that Mr. Boyce should systematically choose subjects having nothing in them, scenes which are, in fact, common-place to the last degree; such for example as that near Abinger which consists of nothing more than a marshy field, a copse, a cow and a rook, thrown together without the slightest composition”.
Retirement and death
His retirement came in 1893 due to ill health and died at West House on 9 February 1897 at his residence- Glebe-place, Chelsea.
His funeral was at St Luke’s Church, Sydney-street, Chelsea at 12 0’clock on Saturday 13th, 1897. Boyce’s diary is used as a major source of information on Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais)
A Girl by a Beech Tree in a Landscape 1857 George Price Boyce 1826-1897
A Girl’s Portrait ?c.1868 George Price Boyce 1826-1897
Blackfriars Bridge: Moonlight Sketch 1863 George Price Boyce 1826-1897
Landscape at Wotton, Surrey: Autumn 1864-5 George Price Boyce 1826-1897 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05250
Night Sketch of the Thames near Hungerford Bridge