Wynford Dewhurst (1864-1941)
Apple Blossom in Arques-la-Bataille,
Signed, inscribed with title on label to the reverse,
Oil on canvas,
15 x 21¾ inches
Provenance: Private Collection, France
Click on image to expand
There are several known paintings by Dewhurst of the chateau and surroundings of Arques-La-Bataille, a small town 4 miles south-east of Dieppe. Dewhurst rented a house there with his family in 1899 and his third child was born there. In this example, the flurry of blossom on the apple trees is depicted with the most flamboyant use of impasto, the paint sculpted into peaks and swirls (not readily captured by a camera and best viewed first-hand.)
With thanks to Roger Brown for kindly providing the biographical detail relating to Arques-La-Bataille.
Wynford Dewhurst (1864-1941) was born in Manchester. He was trained in the classical tradition at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris under Jean-Léon Gérôme . He first encountered Impressionism in 1891which kindled an "instantaneous" attraction to the movement and informed his life's work. This can be seen in his work from the mid 1890s onwards when he began painting in the countryside around Dieppe and the Seine valley.
He produced a book, Impressionist Painting, Its Genesis and Development, 1904 (which you can view here) which he dedicated to Claude Monet. Controversially, he theorised that Impressionism was "British in its conception", arguing that Monet and Pissarro had been greatly influenced by the work of Turner and Constable whilst in exile in England at the time of the Franco-Prussian war, a view fervently refuted by Pissarro himself.
He exhibited extensively at the R.A., R.B.A., and the New English Art Club. His work can be found in numerous collections and museums including, the National Museum of Wales, Manchester Art Gallery and Bradford Museum.
In 2017 the Manchester Art Gallery held a retrospective of the artist's work which was very well received. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue entitled, Manchester's Monet (Roger Brown, 2016). A beautifully illustrated and informative book which you can buy here.