I Found An Art: 19th Century Watercolour


I found this watercolour titled “Pass of Balmaha, Loch Lomond” at the Salvation Army last week. It was all loose in the frame so I took it apart to re-matte it.

art 1

First of all, the carved wood frame definitely dates to Victorian times. It’s quite beautiful. Secondly, I discovered that the board that was backing the painting was an old sign for some kind of polishing service. I half wanted to find another frame for the watercolour and hang this up on the wall.


The painting itself seems quite cheaply matted. The painting was cut down and glued to some cardstock, which was glued to a gold card. All the glue had lost its stickiness, which is why the picture was just sort of floating around.

pass of balmaha lithograph

Whilst Googling the Pass of Balmaha, I came across this lithograph, dated 1889. The view is almost identical to my painting, which suggests that a) the painter was working from the print; b) The same artist did the sketch that the lithograph is based on, or c) there is only one place from which you can view the Pass of Balmaha.

I’m assuming that A is the most reasonable explanation, although the watercolour artist has taken some liberties. For example, in the watercolour there are sailboats but in the lithograph there is a steamship. The watercolour is missing a dock and the trees in the foreground look less mature. And finally, there are a flock of ducks flying over the water in the painting. There are no fowl in the litho.

Is it an accomplished painting? I don’t think so. But I like it!