Charles Harmony Harrison (1842-1902)

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Acclaimed Norfolk watercolourist Charles Harmony Harrison was born in a deprived area of Yarmouth. From a young age he developed a love of nature and he used to make sketches during childhood day-trips around the Broads.

He became an apprentice at a sign-writer's , which gave him his first lessons in colour mixing and paint he studied at the Norwich School of Artists in his spare time and was especially inspired by the works of Crome and Cotman.

Towards the end of ten years of military service, he was gifted a box of watercolour paints, which motivated him to return to art. He discovered that the medium of watercolour painting was perfectly suited to him and quickly gained notoriety .

He moved to London following the death of his first wife, but grew to hate the city,  returning to his native Norfolk within a year. He formed a close friendship with fellow artist Stephen Batchelder and together they explored the Broads by rowing boat. The pair painted continuously during these trips and he became known amongst his contemporaries for the speed and fluidity with which he captured a scene. 

Harrison passed away aged only 60, after spending the last decade of his life in ill health. During this time he produced hundreds of small paintings from the confines of his home in order to support his 13 children. His coffin was decorated with a bunch of Norfolk reeds and rushes.

 

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