Website to catalogue work of 19th century Leamington artist set up by long-time admirer

Thomas Baker by Octavius Oakley (1800 - 1867). Reproduced by kind permission of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.
Thomas Baker by Octavius Oakley (1800 - 1867). Reproduced by kind permission of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

Works by a famous 19th century Leamington artist are being compiled along with his diary entries onto a website setup by a long-time admirer.

With the help of Birmingham museums and Leamington Art Gallery, Robert Mulraine has set up the web site Catalogue Raisonné of Thomas Baker of Leamington 1808 - 1864.

Great Hall Kenilworth Castle 1862. Number 781 in Thomas Bakers diary. Photo courtesy of Leamington Art Gallery and Museum.

Great Hall Kenilworth Castle 1862. Number 781 in Thomas Bakers diary. Photo courtesy of Leamington Art Gallery and Museum.

Baker, a landscape artist and watercolourist, kept a series of diaries listing his oil paintings from 1829 to his death in 1864.

In many instances the entries include a thumbnail sketch of the finished painting, and details of title, location, medium used, exhibition and sale history.

Mr Mulraine, who has been an admirer of Baker’s works since he saw an exhibition of his art in Leamington more than 30 years ago, said: “This site I hope will be of help and interest to other admirers of Thomas Baker including art historians and researchers.

“The site will be continually updated as and when paintings come to light.

The village of Honningham 1861. Number 744 in Thomas Bakers diary. Image courtesy of Leamington Art Gallery and Museum.

The village of Honningham 1861. Number 744 in Thomas Bakers diary. Image courtesy of Leamington Art Gallery and Museum.

“The diaries describe 901 of his paintings and so far I have located just 300, so there are a lot of paintings still to be found. I am sure that there are many readers who may own paintings by Thomas Baker which would greatly help the compilation of the online catalogue.

“The site is completely free to use by anyone at anytime

“I have been amazed at receiving requests for help in identifying paintings of his from all over the world - America, France, Germany, and even Australia.”

Thomas Baker was born in 1809 in Harborne, Birmingham.

Warwickshire Harvest scene. 1856 Number 537 in Thomas Bakers diary. Image from a private collection.

Warwickshire Harvest scene. 1856 Number 537 in Thomas Bakers diary. Image from a private collection.

He lived there until the age of 27 studying under the artist Joseph Vincent Barber.

Barber probably encouraged him to move to Leamington where he would spend the next thirty years of his life.

www.thomasbakerofleamington.com