Ref NoAPO/1
TitleResearch files on artists
Admin/Biog HistoryOppé's research into artists began in an amateur capacity alongside his interest in collecting drawings and watercolours. As such, he produced research on individual artists for a variety of reasons. Most of this research saw publication of some kind, in the form of articles, catalogues and monographs, while other interests may have been more closely connected to his collecting or general academic curiosity. During his career as an art historian, he produced significant works on many artists, including Francis Towne, Alexander and John Robert Cozens, Thomas Rowlandson, John Sell Cotman and William Hogarth.

His research tended to be methodical, involving, primarilly, documenting bodies of work by artists by viewing works in private and public collections and at auction, as well as examining and annotating exhibition and auction catalogues, and collecting photographs of works. This practice was complimented by correspondence with a network of fellow art historians, collectors and owner. He also used a variety of sources to investigate artists' biographies as well as the subjects and topographies in their drawings.

Oppé kept research files on the following artists:

-Bonington, Richard Parkes (1802-1828)
-Botticelli, Sandro (1445-1510)
-Constable, John (1776-1837)
-Cozens, Alexander (1717-1786) and John Robert (1752-1797)
-Dyck, Anthony van (1599-1641)
-Girtin, Thomas (1775-1802)
-Gordon, Julia (1810-1896)
-Hogarth, William (1697-1764)
-Malchair, John Baptist (c 1740-1812)
-Moroni, Giovanni Battiste (1520-1578)
-Munro, Dr. Thomas (1759-1833)
-Raphael (1483-1520)
-Rowlandson, Thomas (1756-1827)
-Sandby, Paul (1731-1809) and Thomas (1721-1798)
-Stevens, Alfred (1817-1875)
-Towne, Francis (1739-1816)
-Turner, J.M.W. (1775-1851), Cox, David (1783-1859) and de Wint, Peter (1784-1849)
-Wilson, Richard (1714-1782)
DescriptionThis sub-collection contains research material concerning individual artists, created and compiled by Oppé, often in relation to the various publications he authored. Where relevant, details of publications have been noted throughout the catalogue. The files contain the following material:

-research notes
-correspondence (with fellow art historians, museum professionals, collectors, owners and descendants of the artists themselves)
-annotated exhibition catalogues and auction lists (containing Oppé's notes on attribution, provenance, price, description and quality. Some also include his sketches)

In general, Oppé's notes are methodical and refer to both original and published sources. They tend to contain descriptive and contextual information about the works of art, including research on the subject or view being depicted, in particular topographical or historically relevent detail. Oppé also made notes regarding the style, technique and general execution or quality of a work and conducted biographical research on the artists themselves.

Most of the material was grouped together, by artist, during Oppé's lifetime. Files relating to the artists most significant to Oppé had been retained together, however material concerning artists about whom he had a lesser interest were scattered throughout his papers. During the process of cataloguing, all material relating to a particular artist (or artists) was brought to together to form a single run of material, arranged alphabetically by artist surname.

Before cataloguing, there was no obvious order to material held on each artist: papers were arranged somewhat chaotically. During the cataloguing process, particular types of material were identified and, where appropraite, the material re-arranged into the following groups:

-research correspondence
-research on auctions, works in collections and/or exhibitions of works by the artist
-research on published sources or archival material
-research on biographical details of the artist
-general research notes and miscellaneous material that doesn't fit into the other categories
-images of works of art
-material relating to exhibitions or publications on the artist

During the process of cataloguing, research correspondence was organised alphabetically by correspondee (surname or institution)
Date[c 1907-c 1978]
Extent95 files; 1 oversize file; 3 volumes
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