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Victorian English Cottage Pictures

Updated on June 26, 2015

A World of Beauty and Charm: Victorian English Cottage Pictures

During the Victorian era in England, a number of very talented artists created paintings of thatched cottages, quaint villages, children playing, and gardens bursting with colorful flowers of every hue. The paintings showed a life which perhaps never existed except in the imagination of its creators. The world in these paintings is clean, beautiful, and perfect. It is a place where there is always enough of everything, including happiness and love, for everyone. There is no illness here, no poverty, no sadness, and no disappointment. Looking at these pictures takes the viewer away from the day-to-day cares and problems we all live with, and into a land of peace and plenty where nothing ever goes wrong.

The Cottage World Seen Through Many Different Eyes - Each Artist Had His or Her Own Style

A Cottage by the Sea
A Cottage by the Sea

There were many different artists painting cottages and gardens at about the same time, during a period ranging from the 1890's to the end of World War I. Each artist had his or her own style. One of the best known was Helen Allingham, whose paintings had a soft, subtle blending of colors, and which nearly always included a child somewhere in the composition. Another artist whose paintings were very popular was Claude Strachan, with their detailed renditions of flowers and gardens, and very realistic textures in the thatched roofs of the cottages. Other signatures that are often found on these pictures are Sylvester Stannard, Lillian Stannard, and Wilfred Ball, but there were far too many to mention them all, and many of the pictures you will find do not have a visible signature. This one was painted by Claude Strachan, and is an unframed print that I found at a flea market.

Add Charm To The Décor Of Your Own Cottage - Cottage Pictures Are Fun To Collect

Antique English cottage pictures are great fun to collect and decorate with. I have acquired a number of them, both as framed pictures and unframed prints. When you find them already framed, the antique frames add a lot of appeal to the prints, but if you are fortunate enough to find unframed ones they are much less expensive. If you frame your own, try to use either old frames, or moldings that have an antique look, so as to be in keeping with the feel of the pictures. Here is an unframed one from my collection, which was painted by Claude Strachan. Cottage pictures look good when hung together as a group, and add warmth and charm to almost any room where they are displayed.

Cottages in Antique Scraps and Cards

Antique Scrap with Cottage
Antique Scrap with Cottage

Another way to find charming images of old thatched cottages is to look for antique paper scraps and cards. These images will, of course, be small in size, but they can be framed as miniatures in tiny frames, or grouped together in a larger frame as an arrangement of several images, or as a collage. This charming image is on a tiny antique scrap I found in an old book.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Anne Hathaway's Cottage

The beautiful cottage that was the home of Anne Hathaway was a favorite subject with many of the cottage artists. You find it over and over again, depicted from many different angles and views. This one which is in my collection was painted by Sylvester Stannard, and is one of my favorites.

Illustrations in Antique Books

Illustration of an English thatched cottage from an old book.
Illustration of an English thatched cottage from an old book.
Another wonderful old black and white English cottage illustration  from the same book.
Another wonderful old black and white English cottage illustration from the same book.
Charming English cottage illustration from an antique book
Charming English cottage illustration from an antique book

You may be fortunate enough to find an antique book with illustrations of thatched cottages in it. If the book is in poor condition already, falling apart or with loose pages, you don't have to feel too guilty about taking some of the pictures out and framing them. These three are from a wonderful old volume I found in a collectible book shop, which has many delightful black and white engravings of cottages in it.

A Cottage Addiction

It's easy to become addicted to collecting these prints of cottages. You will find that you can't stop with only one or two, and will start looking for them everywhere you go. They were much easier to find a few years ago than they are now, but I still happen onto a new one from time to time. As you become more familiar with the styles of the different artists you will start to recognize them before you see the signature, and you may start to specialize in images that were painted by one or more particular artists. Have fun looking for them and adding new ones to your collection. It's a pastime that never grows old.

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    • Stan Awbrey profile image

      Stan Awbrey 2 years ago

      Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoy it, and I'm very pleased that you shared it on your FB page.

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      M L Morgan 2 years ago

      I adore your hub and the pictures included. I have shared it on my FB page, The Village Teapot. Hope that's ok :)

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      neil-hein-94 4 years ago

      I enjoy returning to all of the Lenses of An Earlier Time. The English Cottage Lens is so beautifully written and nicely illustrated.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Such beautiful English cottage pictures!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      AnEarlierTime's article about Victorian English Cottage Pictures is most informative, nicely presented. The sources mentioned are quite helpful for further exploration.