John Varley the Elder (1778-1842), British
CRUMBS (SKETCHBOOK WITH 27 LANDSCAPES)
Twenty-seven watercolours and ink drawings heightened with white on blue paper, mounted to the pages of a hard-cover calf leather sketchbook, the spine with gilt lettering “Crumbs”, the front free endpaper inscribed in pencil “Varley water colours”, “Ex-libris J.E.P.” the first page inscribed “27 ideas? Crumbs”, a loose page inscribed “Ex-libris Sophie Glennie, 1801”, each watercolour accompanied by aphorisms inscribed in blue crayon to the mount beneath each drawing as follows:
1. Into the very night,
engagement is our state.
2. Pass on and end ye days,
then endless times may come.
3. We must pass through the
valley to ascend the hill.
4. Companionship in difficulties
and misfortunes is not
5. The traveler may enjoy the
rest of the retired.
6. What can express the wonder
of the visible variety!
7. Age, in edifices, as in objects
of humanity, is honorable.
8. I can pardon the wanderer for
envying the peace of him at
9. Some little pleasures are
always sprinkled with great griefs.
10. In … this evening, it is very
11. The blessed occupation of the
aged to lead the young.
12. A little cot, in a sheltered spot,
and peace within, a happy lot.
13. The rest of the ancient is as
sweet as the activity of the agile.
14. Most efficacious is sobriety,
the importance of virtue, the
coolness of courage.
15. If virtue, in a vicious world,
seem to be as insecure as a
field of wheat without a fence, it
is nonetheless under special
16. The most concealed walk is
not the most secure.
17. The engagements into which
the mind is … are equally a
defense and an occupation.
18. In the solitary situation is
given particular resistance to
19. Necessary, excellent as is
order, irregularity is not without
20. Though they know it not, all
keep on their appointed road.
21. Who would not labor for the
pleasure to be enjoyed by
22. The recluse feels himself
under more than the ministry of
23. Who feels their happiness
less than those that may have
the most company.
24. As is the home to its rider so
is the rider to his horse to be
accommodated. The mind
must be made if the … cannot
be supplied to the mind.
25. The ocean which appears to
be bound in the Easter … mode
26. The more solitary the situation
the deeper… love is always
27. By custom comes conformity
to the strangest positions.
each 4" x 6.5" — 10.2 x 16.5 cm.
Collection of the artist;
Ex-Libris J.E.P. bought at ... (indistinct) on “Feb 26, 1912” as “Varley Water colours” inscribed to front free endpaper;
Sophie Glennie, 1801;
J.W. Wallace, n.p.,
The Estate of a Private Collection, Guelph, ON
Department: International Art
Medium: Works on Paper