Cedric Morris: May Flowering Irises No. 2 (1935)

“By 1935, when this work was painted, Morris’s fascination with irises had firmly taken hold. He established a studio in the garden where he would sit and paint his flower subjects for days on end, and one ex-student, Joan Warburton, poignantly reminisced how ‘to go in there quietly when Cedric was painting the favourite of…

Dame Laura Knight: The Fairgrounds, Penzance (c.1916)

Who Was Dame Laura Knight? Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) was an English artist in the figurative, realist tradition who embraced English Impressionism. According to Tate.org “Influenced by Impressionism and the Newlyn School in Cornwall, Knight’s subject-matter is contemporary without being avant-garde. Dismissed by Modernists for her lack of interest in formal experiment, Knight’s insistent realism…

Marie Spartali Stillman: Beatrice (1895)

Who Is Maria Spartali Stillman? Marie Euphrosyne Spartali, later Stillman, (1844 –1927), was a British Pre-Raphaelite painter and model, arguably the greatest female artist of that movement. During a sixty-year career, she produced over one hundred and fifty works, contributing regularly to exhibitions in Great Britain and the United States. (2) One Dante Is Never…

Sir Alfred James Munnings: The Boathouse (1906)

Munning’s Earliest Boating Theme According to Christie’s, Idle Moments; or The Boathouse (1906) “is the earliest boating theme, foreshadowing [Sir Alfred James Munnings’] series of ladies in canoes painted in the 1930’s and 40’s.”  The description continues: This scene is the boathouse at Mendham … The lady in the back reclines and contentedly settles in…

Ambrose McEvoy: Portrait of Lady Gwendoline Churchill (1917)

When this work was exhibited at the New English Art Club just after Ambrose McEvoy’s shocking and sudden death of pneumonia at the age of only forty-nine, the Times critic praised the painting – which had been given pride of place in the exhibition – for serving ‘very well to recall the characteristic powers of…

The Real Ophelia

The scene depicted is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, in which Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, falls into a stream and drowns: There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weedsClambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;When down her weedy trophies and herselfFell in…

Sir Frank Brangwyn: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

“After the First World War, Brangwyn was commissioned to produce Stations of the Cross for Arras cathedral through the recommendation of his friend Theophile Steinlen (1859-1923). Reproductions of the Stations were to be distributed to other war damaged churches. Unfortunately the series was never completed. It was generally reported that this was due to the…

Ambrose McEvoy: Lady Patricia Moore (c.1920)

“Despite being one of the most successful society portrait painters of his day, Ambrose McEvoy has until recently been overlooked. Born in 1877, McEvoy painted a plethora of important sitters throughout his career including Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Cooper. McEvoy demonstrated exceptional artistic abilities from a young age. Encouraged by his father, Captain…

Sir Alfred Munnings: Langham Mill Pool

The Best of British Impressionism A strong supporter of en plein-air painting, Sir Alfred Munnings, “like the French Impressionist painters, … captures the salient qualities of form while conjuring the dramatic atmosphere of light, air, and colour.” Painted at a site only a few miles from his home, “Langham Mill Pool is an extraordinary example…

Sir Oswald Birley: The Nurse (1921)

Hidden from view in the ownership of her descendants, Philip Mould will talk about the arrival from America of an exquisite, hitherto unknown portrait of an arresting 1920’s nurse by society painter Sir Oswald Birley. Painted in return for medical services, this masterpiece by Birley combines his brilliance as a portraitist with the sublime lessons…

Alfred James Munnings: Summer afternoon…Wensum, Costessey (1909)

“Plein-air tour de force” Summer afternoon on the Wensum, Costessey is a plein-air tour de force imbued with colour, light and atmosphere… Christie’s ‘His pure landscapes would of themselves have made a reputation. Contemplating them in the Diploma Gallery, along with the best of the gypsy studies and Exmoor ponies, one was forced to the…