Henry B Wimbush was one of Raphael Tuck's most prolific artists, but despite his very high postcard output, he remains a shadowy figure, only briefly chronicled in art dictionaries and reference works. Research of published data had so far failed to elicit the dates of his birth and death and even his middle name. See Family history and Family Tree
Although he first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1888, he was not famous as a painter, and his work was not very well known.
Royal Academy Exhibits:
1888 - Fleeting Day. 1889 - Petit Bo' Bay, Guernsey.
1893 - Nun's Well, Pembrokeshire. 1903 - Morthoe Cliffs.
1904 - Grosse Tete, Jersey.
Edith Careys 'The Channel Islands' was published in 1904 and contained 76 colour plates by Wimbush, which exhibited his work to a much wider audience. Illustrations
The sale of one of his watercolours, of Windsor, for £1,200 at Christie's in 1982 may indicate a belated recognition of his talent by the art world. The picture shown here is a distant view of Moretonhampstead, Devon and is signed and dated 1892. The 30 x 21 inch watercolour was auctioned by Phillips of Exeter in March 2001 and fetched £1,400.
He was most active in painting between 1881 and 1908 when he lived at various addresses in London. Like many of his contemporaries in the Tuck stable, he toured Britain for inspiration and his coverage was far more comprehensive than many of the other Tuck illustrators.
His watercolours were published by Tuck between 1904 and 1908, the majority in the "Oilette" series, although a few do appear as "Aquarettes". The Wimbush postcards are distinctive, characterised by soft colours and lines. He had a liking for water, and some of his finest work appeared as seascapes and river scenes
The artist's work is highly collectable as his postcard output is clearly numbered in sets of six cards, with many town scenes as well as coastal views in the 162 Tuck sets.
Click to see enlargement
This postcard used by Tucks to advertise their latest issues indicates the high regard
that Henry Wimbush was held both by Tucks and the public at large.
Note the cost 2.5p for a set of 6 cards
J Salmon published a few postcards showing unique Wimbush scenes but these were probably published later and seem to be postmarked after WW1.
From the Somerset County Gazette 15th May 1943
DEATH OF MR. H.B.WIMBUSH.
WELL-KNOWN ARTISTS FUNERAL AT BAGBOROUGH.
The death recently at Triscombe House, Bagborough, of Mr. H.B. Wimbush has removed a well known artist. Visitors to his Quantock home are familiar with the
delightful studies from his brush that adorn its walls, but indirectly Mr. Wimbush's work is known throughout the English-speaking world.
He was the first to paint for Tuck's “Oilette” series of cards depicting the natural beauties of Britain, and he did a good deal of illustrative work for Messrs. Black, the publishers. Among the choicest examples are the illustrations in “The Channel Islands” (Edith Carey), a delightful work, in which, incidentally, one of his daughters provides a charming frontispiece.
On giving up oil for water colour, Mr. Wimbush found scope for fuller expression. He became famous for his atmospheric pictures of NorthWest Scotland, which he greatly loved, and his paintings were always among those hung at the annual exhibitions at Burlington House. An exhibition by British artists at Bombay several years ago led to Mr. Wimbush's work being introduced to Indian palaces. Nearly all he then exhibited were purchased by H.H. the Jam Sahib of Nawangar, better known as Ranjitsinhji, that prince of cricketers.
Commissions for other studies in Scotland and Ireland followed and in later years the Quantocks and Exmoor furnished him with beauty spots that were realistically reproduced, including one of Cloutsham Ball, taken from Webber's Post.
In his younger days, Mr. Wimbush, who stood over 6ft., was very familiar in London tennis circles, he won the North London championship five years in succession. He was also a good golfer.
His marriage some 16 years ago to Mrs. Dremel (nee Cheetham) brought him into association with the Quantock Staghounds, and though he did not ride to hounds, he was a familiar figure at meets. He was twice married, and children by his first wife are among those who survive him.
HUNTING FOLK WELL REPRESENTED.
On Sunday evening the coffin was removed to Bagborough Parish Church where the funeral service was held the following afternoon. The Bishop in Corea (Right Rev. A. C. Cooper), who is now doing duty in the parish, officiated, and included in a congregation representative of a wide district were followers of the Quantock Staghounds and other packs and tenantry on the Triscombe Estate.
While they assembled Mr. E. Noble at the organ played Handel's Largo and Tennyson's “Crossing the Bar,” and subsequent hymns were “On the Resurrection Morning” and “Lead kindly light.”
The Nune Dimittis formed a fitting requiem, and as the coffin was borne from the church the organist played Chopin's Largo in C Minor. Mr. S. Farley (head gardener at Triscombe) and members of the staff had decorated the interior of the grave with ivy, arum lilies and lilac.
Mr. Wimbush passed away on May 5th.
FAMILY AND OTHER MOURNERS
The Immediate mourners were: Mrs. Wimbush (widow); Mr. Richard Wimbush (son); the Misses Millicent and Enid Wimbush daughters): Sister MacDonald, Dr. B. M. Young and Mrs. Oswald Yates.
They were followed by members of the indoor and outdoor staffs at Triscombe.
Others attending Included Mrs. M. Bucknall, Mrs. Anderson, Miss Boles, Mr. W. C.H. Esdaile (representing the West Somerset Foxhounds), the Hon. Mrs. Trollop Bellew, Mrs. Claude Luttrell, Miss Herbert (the Hon. Mrs. Mervyn Herbert). Mrs. Edwards (Mr. G. H. Edwards), Brig. - General A. G. Arbuthnot, C.M.G., D.S.O., and Mrs. Arbuthnot, Mrs. Hewlett (Col. A. Hewlett), Mr. R. G. Kitson (Sir Gerald Boles, Bart.). Mrs Critchley-Salmonson, Lieut.Colonel V. A. Batchelor. D.S.O. (Miss Batchelor), Dr. F. Blacklee, Mr. Malcolm Crawford, Mrs. Latrobe Bateman, Mrs. Chas. Coode, Miss Callaghan, the Misses Follett. Mr. A. Yandle (Tiverton Staghounds). Mr. and Mrs. W. Rich and Miss Rich (Triscombe), Mr. M. G. Webber (Quantock), Mr. C. Withers (Bagborough Parish Council) and Mrs. Withers. Messrs J. C. White, C. Shapland (Fitzhead), F. Rich (Tilbury). J.House (Nether Stowey), J. Denman (Over Stowey), and G. A. Tarr (Fitzhead).
Mrs. Moreton, Mrs. Lyons, Messrs. T. Rich, J. Pearse, P. Seely, W.H. Gooding, W. Taylor and Fred Taylor. Mr. Gilbert Sloley (huntsman Quantock Staghounds, also representing Mrs. Sloley), and many others.
With the exception of a full-length cross on the coffin from the family, and tokens from intimate friends, the wish expressed that no flowers should be sent was honoured.