James Clarke Hook – Brimming Holland


1 in stock

Signed Jm.C.Hook and inscribed ‘Trial Proof’ in pencil (lower right). Etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on India paper 1875. Presented in a new mount. The print has also been known as ‘A Market Boat, Holland’.

Sheet: 10 1/4 x 13 3/8 in. (26 x 34 cm.)
Image: 4 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (11.8 x 20 cm.)
Mount: 12 3/16 x 15 3/8 in. (30.9 x 39 cm.)


The artist’s trial proofs are rare and are generally not signed. They are a pre-cursor to a limited proof edition, these initial prints are pulled so that the artist may examine, refine and perfect the prints to a desired final state.

According to the Print-sellers’ Association the print was published by Edward S. Palmer as an artist’s proof of 100 in 1875 at a cost of 2gns. There was a further unlimited edition of prints (unsigned) at 1gn. Usually another etcher would be employed to create a print of a painting but in this case Hook completed both painting and etchings himself.

This coastal scene, typical of Hook’s paintings and etchings, depicts a market boat in Holland where a woman buys a duck from the stall holder. Hook began the painting Brimming Holland in July 1869 during a stay at the Hotel Bellevue in Dort in the Netherlands. He exhibited the painting at the May 1870 exhibition of the Royal Academy. For more information see Rosalie Hook, Woman Behind the Painter: Diaries of Rosalie, Mrs James Clarke Hook (ed. Juliet McMaster). Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 2006.


Hook, James Clarke (1819-1907)

As a student at the Royal Academy, James Clarke Hook won the first medals in the life and painting schools in 1842 and went on to win the gold medal for historical painting in 1844. In 1846 he obtained the travelling pension of the Royal Academy for three years and went to Italy but after eighteen months he gave up half his pension and returned to England. J. C. Hook rapidly became established as a leading painter of historical genre, noted for his use of strong colour showing the influence of the Venetian artists. In his mature work J. C. Hook turned mostly to rustic genre and especially to genre coastal scenes. James Clarke Hook was an accomplished original etcher and an early member of the Etching Club. His highly finished etchings are some of the finest examples of popular Victorian art to have emerged from the Etching Club.