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Saving the Guns at Colenso oil painting 2 months 1 week ago #76416

  • MEsterhuysen
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Hi, my first post on this forum...

I'm a keen RSA art collector and I recently purchased a huge (61 x 194cm) period oil/canvas painting apparently depicting the ill-fated attempts to rescue the Guns lost at the battle of Colenso at an estate auction in the UK. Below are some images. The artist is one Charles Dabricourt and it's dated 1901, see a close-up image of the signature. I usually do not collect Boer War items, but could not resist this epic painting.

Does anybody on this forum perhaps know or have any more information on this particular picture? I've seen it in the back-ground of a 1992 documentary program on the Boer War currently running on Amazon prime, it's also on YouTube (see below at the 50:52 time mark). Other than that I have not been able to get any more information about it. It does not appear in Ryno Greenwal's excellent book on Artists and Illustrators of the Anglo-Boer war, nor is Charles Dabricourt listed there. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!






Colenso close-left.jpg[/attachment]

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Saving the Guns at Colenso oil painting 2 months 1 week ago #76417

  • Dave F
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Hi MEsterhuysen
Welcome to the forum.
Thank you for sharing the images.
Mr Dabricourt is an illusive chap. I found 2 more paintings by him. Both oil on canvas.
Medieval Figures and Capture of the Standard, Civil War.
I found a Charles Dabricourt born in 1847 birth place Jersey.
1891 Census has him living in Toxteth Park with his wife and 6 children.
His occupation was Sculpter,Artist and Painter. Seems he married a Lancashire lass and resided in Liverpool. Not much more I can add I'm afraid. But he looks like an accomplished artist but with very little history about him.
The census for 1911, if the above details are the same man, continues to show his occupation as an artist.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave

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Saving the Guns at Colenso oil painting 2 months 1 week ago #76422

  • Dave F
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On closer analysis, the picture you have is not Colenso.
It is a oil painting of the Disaster at Koorn Spruit ( Sannahs Post)
It looks like Mr Dabricourt painted the picture using a Boer War print which was drawn by Sidney Paget, taken from a sketch by W.B Woolen.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave
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Saving the Guns at Colenso oil painting 2 months 1 week ago #76430

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Hi Dave, many thanks for this very useful information! I agree completely, it must've been Sanna's Post, not Colenso.

I'm now trying to get hold of W.B. Woolen's sketch to see if it includes the right side of the painting, or whether Mr Dabricourt simply made up this part. I also wonder why Dabricourt made such a large painting of the scene - must've been a commission, it's unlikely that he would've painted it in such a large format on risk. I wish I could find out for whom he did it though. Do you know in which publication the print of Paget's picture of Woolen's drawing that you sent appeared? I gather that Woolen was commissioned by "The Sphere" to act as artist in South Africa during the Boer War. Thanks again, Matthias Esterhuysen
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Saving the Guns at Colenso oil painting 2 months 1 week ago #76435

  • Dave F
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Matthias
It is certainly a large painting, and I agree it could be a commission. I found another image in the With the Flag to Pretoria publication. There is more detail in the RH side of the image but still lacks the additional details which are present in Dabricourt 's painting. However, I think the original drawing by Paget had the same details as your painting.
Do you have any information where the painting came from regarding the estate.? It's possible that the painting was commissioned by a family whose relatives were involved in the military or even took part in the battle.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave
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Saving the Guns at Colenso oil painting 2 months 1 week ago #76467

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The main publications which William Wollen and Sidney Paget had drawings and sketches published. The Sphere, Illustrated London News, The Graphic, The Black and White ,With the Flag to Pretoria and the Strand magazine.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave
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