Robert Brandard

(1805 - 7 January 1862)

Born at Birmingham, he came to London at the age of nineteen, and after studying for a short time with Edward Goodall, the eminent landscape-engraver, practised with much ability in the same branch of the art. His earliest efforts were plates for Brockedon's Scenery of the Alps, Captain Batty's Saxony, and Turner's England, and Rivers of England. He also engraved after Stanfield, Herring, Callcott, and others for the Art Journal, and produced some etchings from his own designs, one series of which was published by the Art Union in 1864. Amongst his best works were two plates after Turner entitled 'Crossing the Brook' and 'The Snow-storm,' which were exhibited after his death at the International Exhibition of 1862. Brandard also practised painting both in oils and water-colours, and exhibited frequently at the British Institution, the Royal Academy, and Suffolk Street, between 1831 and 1858. He died at his residence, Campden Hill, Kensington. One of his oil-paintings, entitled 'The Forge,' was purchased by the second Earl of Ellesmere, and three others, views of Hastings, are in the South Kensington Museum, forming part of the Sheepshanks Collection. [Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, London, 1878, 8vo.]

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The volumes of the Art Journal of years gone by bear full testimony to the talents of the late Robert Brandard, who died in 1862. Besides several engravings from the Turner collection, among which the 'Whalers ' stands foremost for delicacy and wonderful atmospheric effect -- nothing finer, of its kind, has ever appeared from the hand of any engraver; and this is saying no more than the plate warrants us in saying -- Mr. Brandard executed for us several of the subjects in the Vernon and Royal collections, as Callcott's 'Meadow,' Stanfield's 'Portsmouth Harbour' and ' Ischia,' 'Jutsum's Noonday Walk,' and others. He was also a painter of no ordinary reputation, though he did comparatively but little in this way; his name, however, was seen occasionally in the catalogues of the Royal Academy and the British Institution. The Ellesmere collection contains an excellent example of his oil-picture, 'The Forge,' which in colour and finish equals some of the best old Dutch masters: it was bought by the late Earl of Ellesmere out of the British Institution on a "varnishing-day" -- a day technically so called because the artists who contribute are allowed to work upon their pictures in any way they please, to render them more effective in the position in which they are hung. In the Royal Academy, we believe, this privilege is permitted only to members and the most eminent contributors who have not yet reached that position: to concede it to all indiscriminately would only result in a confusion which must render work of any kind almost impracticable. There are many amusing stories told by artists of the jokes and good-humoured mischief perpetrated by the brotherhood on this day.

Mr. Brandard acquired considerable reputation as an etcher; he produced many plates of this description from his own designs, and very spirited and effective they are: two are introduced here -- one of them a figure-subject, the other a landscape -- and they show him to have been equally successful in both. The "Young Rustic", with cap under his arm, who is trimming up a stick he has cut out of the wood, is a lifelike study: note the pouting of the lips, after the fashion of boys when earnestly engaged on any work; truthful is the texture of his garments, easy and natural the attitude of the figure. The light and shade are very cleverly managed, producing the utmost harmony of colour without any sacrifice of brilliancy. The "Village Scene" -- though, from its character, showing, perhaps, less of masterly handling -- is sunny and very bright; but the shadow thrown by the child on the pathway forms a thin and awkward line, which even a descending sun would not cast. Etchings by Robert Branard; the Art Journal, January 1, 1875