Musée No:737.138

Musée No:737.138

Regular price £25.00

Cottage on a Bay

Artist: attributed to Cornelius Varley

Date: 1781 - 1873

Cornelius Varley, (1781-1873), was an English water-colour painter and optical instrument-maker. He invented the graphic telescope and the graphic microscope. He was friends with the poet Wiliam Blake (of 'Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?' fame). From 1803 to 1859 he was an occasional exhibitor at the Royal Academy and he also contributed regularly to the displays of the Water-Colour Society, of which, in 1803, he was one of the founders, and of which he continued a member until 1821.

Varley's artistic works consist mainly of carefully finished classical subjects, with architecture and figures. He published a series of etchings of boats and other craft on the River Thames. He was the first person to make a telephoto image. His life as an artist was deeply connected to his scientific and technical pursuits. His optical inventions were improvements to the camera lucida and camera obscura long used by artists, and allowed him to draw both landscapes and microscopic studies in lucid detail. He also patented and sold his inventions.

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