Wynford Dewhurst (1864-1941)
A peaceful spot, Versailles,
Oil on canvas,
24 x 19¾ inches
Provenance: Private Collection, France
Click on image to expand
Dewhurst painted several paintings of the park surrounding the palace of Versailles. In this example, the dramatic foliage of the trees and avenue of summer blooms lead the eye to a couple engaged in conversation on the balustrade.
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.