Rosalind Boultbee (1804-1874)

Untitled (Landscape) (n.d.)

Rosalind Boultbee (1804-1874)

In my research I discovered a female 19th century landscape painter, previously unknown to me. Rosalind Boultbee (1804-1874) may have only painted one landscape for that is all that survives but her untitled painting reveals a fine talent. Rosalind came to Canada in 1840 to help her oldest brother, Felix, bring up his five children; Felix’s wife, Mary, had died on the voyage to Canada in 1834. After about six years, Rosalind returned to England to marry her cousin, the Reverend Richard Moore Boultbee. He had recently been widowed and had a family of six young children. In total, she helped raise 11 children, none her own. There is no record of her training in art, and this is the only painting that the family is aware of. It appears to be a mountain scene, possibly from Wales or Northern Scotland.

Landscape (After R.B.) (2021)

Paul Boultbee (b. 1951)

As with many 19th century landscapes, the rugged terrain dominates Rosalind Boultbee’s untitled landscape. Her painting is almost claustrophobic with layer upon layer of rocky formations from the immediate foreground to the far distant mountains. I have portrayed her landscape through the use of found paper in the form of a dress pattern and tissue paper and, unlike my responses to her two male counterparts, I have specifically addressed her treatment of the sky through the addition of white cheesecloth. Rosalind has given a human figure some prominence in her painting. I wasn’t sure whether to include this figure, but I found a family connection that prompted me to do so. The sporting and animal artist, John Boultbee painted a portrait of Robert Bakewell astride his horse (c. 1775). I created a stencil of that portrait and included an outline of it here to echo the figure in Rosalind’s painting and to make a connection from the earlier painter to her.

Relationship: I am Rosalind’s great great grand nephew.