Walter Tyndale was one of the most popular and influential topographical illustrators at the turn of the century. He was also one of the first to benefit from the printing revolution of 1901 when his publishers A & C Black pioneered the use of three colour half-tone plates. The ensuing publishing boom led to a wealth of commissions for Tyndale for illustrated travel books, which took him from the Wessex countryside to Europe and the Far East. The extent of his travels were reflected in the titles of some of his solo shows held at the Dowdeswell Galleries in London: ‘Cairo, the Lebanon and Damascus’ (1898), ‘Cairo, Jerusalem and Sicily’ (1899), ‘Italy’ (1901), and ‘Rothenburg’ (1902).
His assiduous yet delicate application of watercolour imbued his work with a vivid sense of life and colour. Each work captures a single moment in time evoking the atmosphere of a bustling Venetian market, the serenity of a Japanese country garden or the majesty of Bath Abbey soaked in the morning sun. The Victorian fascination with the Orient afforded Tyndale the luxury to explore the beauty and exoticism of the Far East, which led to the creation of some of his best and most unusual pieces.
In addition to his many wonderful works of art, Tyndale also left an impressive legacy in the form of three large and comprehensive travel diaries. In these he meticulously recorded his adventures, by including not only anecdotes, but also postcards, photographs - including self-portraits - and pages of correspondence from his family and the many friends he made around the world.