Art of Marmotinto

Emily Connell 1852


The art of marmotinto or sand painting can be traced back to the court of George III where two German confectioners were employed to create table decorations initially out of sugar but then from coloured sands and marble dust. By the 1780s, they had developed a way to affix the sand onto light board thereby making it feasible to create permanent pictures. By the nineteenth century sand painting had become a popular pastime for amateurs and helped to boost tourism to the Isle of Wight where there was a rich supply of colourful sands.

This sand painting was created by Emily Connell at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight in June 1852. Commonly these pictures featured castles, churches or Osborne House, the summer retreat of Queen Victoria. This one, however, has the more unusual subject of a labourer on his way to work with his tools slung over his shoulder. It has touches of watercolour to add detail and is signed and dated on the reverse. It is mounted within a period maple frame.

Item Ref. 6229

Size: framed, 255 x 234mm (10¼ x 9¼")