Poacher encountering will o’the wisps
by Richard Doyle


  • Country of origin: England

  • Medium: Watercolour on paper

  • Signed: Signed lower left

  • Dated: c. 1845

  • Condition: Very good original condition

  • Size: 12.00" x 15.00" (30.5cm x 38.1cm)

  • Provenance: Private collection - London
    The painting is accompanied by a confirmation letter from the V&A Museum in London

  • Literature: This work was authenticated by Lionel Lambourne the eminent expert on the works of Richard Doyle and the curator of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London
    Mr Lambourne noted.......
    "... it is a powerful and imaginative example - depicting an old poacher encountering will o'the wisps while wending his way home, who try and lead him into a marshy bog, to the alarm of his two dogs. I would think that it was quite an early work dating from the mid 1840's while he was still very influenced by W H Brookes illustrations to Keighley's Fairy Stories of Southern Ireland."

Other Artworks

Artwork Biography

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Born September 1824, in London; died 11 December 1883, in London.

Painter, watercolourist, caricaturist, illustrator. Scenes with figures, animals, fairies.
Richard Doyle was the second son of cartoonist John Doyle. He showed an astonishing artistic ability from a very young age and was taught by his father. From the age of 16 Richard produced a body of work which is conserved in the British Museum.

When he was 19 he worked for the journal Punch, for which he designed the cover. He illustrated the works of Thackeray, Dickens, Ruskin and many others. He provided drawings for Cornhill Magazine and painted several watercolours. In 1850 he gave up his work on Punch, where his Catholic beliefs had been attacked. Struck down by apoplexy on 10 December 1883, he died the next day.

Group Exhibitions

1983, Richard Doyle and his Family, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Dublin: Triumphal Entry; Isel Kall; Traveller Taken by Surprise; Mother and Child; View in the Studey Royal Park; View at Boxhill; A Deer Park
London (British Mus.): Under the Dock Leaves (1878, watercolour)
London (Victoria and Albert Mus.): The Witch's Home (1875, watercolour); A Rehearsal in Fairy Land (c. 1870, colour etching); Morals and Customs of Monkeys; Elves in a Wood (watercolour)