Samuel Prout

British, b.1783, d.1852

The Cathedral Of St Peter, Regensburg Porch On The West Facade

Samuel Prout specialised in painting architectural subjects in watercolour. This cathedral is in Regensburg, which stands on the Danube River in Upper Bavaria. Prout has emphasised the height of the highly decorated porch, which contrasts with the colourful worshippers and hawkers who look very small in comparison to the rearing sculptural figures of the saints and apostles.

In 1819 Prout went to northern France. This was the first of many trips abroad, and it was there that he found his style, characterised by the limited use of colour, apart from vivid touches on the costumes of the stylised figures. Prout’s work was popular in its day, and he ranks among artists of the English school of watercolour painting of the early 1800s.

Born in Plymouth in 1783, Prout turned to painting at an early age as he suffered lifelong ill health which prevented him from taking up a more active career. He began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1803.

earlier labels about this work
  • Prout, whose speciality was in architectural studies in watercolour, has here featured the highly decorated Gothic porch of the Cathedral of St Peter at Ratisbon (Regensburg) in Upper Bavaria. It was Prout's practice to make studies and sketches on the spot and then work them up into a finished work, in his studio. He repeated favourite compositions many times, adjusting his composition as required. Here he has emphasised the scale of the cathedral porch and packed the lower spaces with a crowd of colourful worshippers. The oblique shaft of sunlight, which balances the vertical planes in the composition, and picks out the details of the stone tracery, enhances the finely detailed drawing of the architectural sculpture. Initially titled 'Porch Chartres Cathedral', this scene has since been identified as the porch of the Ratisbon cathedral and the title changed.