Wynford Dewhurst (1864-1941)
Sunny pastures / A bit of Norman landscape,
signed , "Wynford Dewhurst RBA"; further inscribed with title and signed to original label on the reverse, "Wynford Dewhurst / Officier D'Academie",
Oil on canvas
31¾ x 23½ inches
Christies, 23 June 1994;
Private Collection, France
Probably, Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street, London, 1901, as Normandy Pastures
Click on image to enlarge
This glimpse through a fringe of poplars provides a most attractive study in the play of light and shade. A critic reviewing the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) Annual Exhibition of 1901 commented,
"There is so much work that is really excellent that it seems invidious to make a selection. However, if I had
my choice, I should take Mr. Dewhurst's summer scene, "Normandy Pastures", for I have seldom seen
sunshine better understood or colour more fascinating than here." The Sketch, April 10, 1901
With thanks to Roger Brown for his help in sourcing this quote.
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.