An Imitator of John Constable (1776-1837)

The Glebe Farm England, the mid-19th century Oil on canvas 99 x 124.5 cm This was bought as a major work by Constable, one of a number of views of the glebe farm near Langham church, Essex.  However, the colouring and brushwork do not match any of Constable’s works and it is now clear that … Read more

PIERRE BONNARD (1867 – 1947)

The Evening Meal Paris, about 1903 Oil on canvas 37.4 x 45.5 cm The scene shows Bonnard’s sister Andrée Terrasse and two of her children, Robert, and, silhouetted against the lamp, Vivette.  They are seated for an evening meal in the Terrasse’s home at Le Grand-Lemps in the rural south of France.  Bonnard painted many … Read more

Francois Cidilla Bonvin (1817 – 1887)

The Attributes of Painting Paris, about 1879 Oil on canvas 49.4 x 60.5 cm This still life depicts the materials used in its making – including palette and brushes, tubes of paint, a portfolio of drawings, an inkwell and a paintbox.  The French artist Bonvin painted the objects in the direct and uncompromisingly physical manner … Read more

Hippolyte Bellange (1800-1866)

The Entry of Bonaparte into Milan Paris, about 1822/4 Oil on canvas 44.4 x 60.3 cm Napoleon Bonaparte’s triumphal entry into Milan in May 1796 occurred during a military campaign which saw the rapid conquest of much of the Italian peninsular.  Bellangé was commissioned to provide an illustration of the event for a biography following … Read more

Edouard Manet (1832 – 1883)

A Portrait of Carolus-Duran Montgeron, near Paris, 1876 Oil on canvas 191.8 x 172.7 cm Manet painted this study of the portraitist Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (1838 – 1917) when staying at a patron’s country estate near Paris.  The two artists were old friends and they agreed to paint each other.  Carolus-Duran is shown in riding boots … Read more

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926)

The Church at Varengeville Varengeville, Normandy, 1882 Oil on canvas 65 x 81.3 cm The view is across a hidden gorge to the isolated cliff-top church at Varengeville.  Monet painted various subjects along the Normandy coast in the summer of 1882.   His practice was to work simultaneously on up to eight canvasses, moving from … Read more

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882)

The Blue Bower London, 1865 Oil on Canvas 84 x 70.9 cm Fanny Cornforth, the artist’s mistress, was the model for this striking image. The cornflowers at the front refer to her name and the passion flowers suggest her fiery character.  But the image is more a hymn to beauty than a portrait.  A bower is … Read more

René Magritte (1898-1967)

The Flavour of Tears Brussels, 1948 Oil on canvas 59.4 x 49.5 cm Surrealist paintings stir the imagination by subverting our expectations and transgressing boundaries. To this beguiling mixture Magritte adds a disturbing reality that we know from our dreams. Here, a totem-like bird assumes the form of a tobacco leaf. The birdleaf is consumed … Read more

JOHAN CHRISTIAN DAHL (1788–1857)

A Mother and Child by the Sea Dresden, 1840 Oil on canvas 21 x 31 cm A mother and child welcome home a fishing boat, presumably containing the child’s father. The combination of the magical light effect and the fact that so much remains hidden encourages different interpretations. Dahl’s father was a fisherman in Norway … Read more

EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)

Jockeys Before the Race Paris, exhibited 1879 
Oil, essence, bodycolour and pastel on paper 107.3 x 73.7 cm Degas’ racing pictures generally concentrate on the undramatic moments before the start. Here, the starting-post bisects the composition, creating an instantaneous effect, suggestive of a snapshot. Figures and horses are obscured, cut by the frame and shown … Read more