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James Pollard - Angling at South Stoneham, Hampshire
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James Pollard

Angling at South Stoneham, Hampshire

Oil on panel: 7 x 9.5 (in) / 17.8 x 24.1 (cm)
Signed and dated lower left: J. Pollard 1831

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 Islington 1792 - 1867 Chelsea

Ref: BX 213


Angling at South Stoneham, Hampshire


Signed and dated lower left: J. Pollard 1831

Oil on panel: 7 x 9½ in / 17.8 x 24.1 cm

Frame Size: 11 x 13½ in / 27.9 x 34.3 cm


In an eighteenth century style carved and gilded frame





Private collection, UK

Richard Green, London, 1991;

Mr and the Hon. Mrs Geoffrey Lawson



Two gentlemen are angling for trout in the crystalline River Itchen, still one of the most celebrated chalk streams for fly-fishing for trout and salmon. One has a bite and is calmly reeling in his prize; the other prepares to cast.


A keen angler himself, Pollard made a number of paintings of the sport, many of which were made into prints in Pollard’s own day and later. Improvements in fishing tackle and the stocking of rivers led to the growth of angling as a middle-class pastime from the early nineteenth century. South Stoneham is today a northern suburb of the city of Southampton, but in 1831 it was a village among rolling fields and wooded hills. The River Itchen is one of several spring-fed chalk streams that make the county of Hampshire a legendary spot for anglers. The chalk filters the water to a sparkling purity, encouraging vegetation where the fish can hide and a plentiful supply of food. Pools shaded by trees, deep green reflections and the gentle burble of water over stones have long made the Itchen the perfect, tranquil spot for sport and relaxation.


Among Pollard’s other fishing subjects are a pair of paintings titled Fly fishing in the River Lee near the Ferry Boat Inn, 1831 and Trolling for pike on the River Lee (Tate Britain, London).





Islington 1792 - 1867 Chelsea


James Pollard established his reputation as a painter of coach scenes, which represent a valuable pictorial documentation of the coaching era. With the demise of the coach and the onset of the omnibus and railway, Pollard expanded his subject matter and painted racing, hunting, shooting and angling scenes.


Pollard was the son of the Newcastle-born engraver and print publisher Robert Pollard (1755/6-1839), a pupil of Richard Wilson, and grew up on the main northern coaching route which ran through Islington and Holloway. He was trained as a painter and engraver by his father and also received instruction from the wood engraver Thomas Bewick, his father’s friend and also a Newcastle man. James worked in the family firm as a draughtsman and engraver.


In 1821, an event occurred that altered Pollard’s future. The King’s printseller Edward Orme commissioned him to paint an inn signboard showing a mail coach with horses and passengers.  This signboard was first displayed in Orme’s Bond Street shop window, where it was seen by the Austrian ambassador Prince Esterházy, who ordered a replica on canvas. This led to many commissions for coaching scenes. In 1825 Pollard married Elizabeth Ridley. In the 1830s Pollard concentrated exclusively on painting. He collaborated with John Frederick Herring Snr (1795-1865), providing landscape backgrounds, buildings and crowds for racing scenes such as The Doncaster Great St Leger, 1839. Pollard exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1821 and 1839, the British Institution between 1824 and 1844, and at the Suffolk Street Galleries. Many of his works were engraved.


In 1840 Pollard was devastated by the death of his wife and youngest daughter. He ceased painting; when he resumed, demand for his work had slackened. For the last years of his life he received support from the Artists’ Benevolent Institution and lived with his son James Robert Pollard in Chelsea, where he died on 15th October 1867. 


The work of James Pollard is represented in the Royal Collection; Brodick Castle, Scotland and the South African National Gallery.




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