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John Wainwright fl.1845-1873

Photograph of a painting by John Wainwright.

Flowers

Oil on canvas 20 x 14 inches
Signed by the artist and dated 1859
Title inscribed on label verso;
Catalogue extract verso, lot 67;
Strahan, Dublin label;
Inscribed, Mrs. Browne

Provenance:
Hamilton Estate, County Fermanagh;
by descent to present owner
Price GB£3,850

John Wainwright is well known for his highly decorative flower pieces painted in the style of the great Dutch masters of the 18th century. He comes closest to Jan van Os (1744-1808) but his work has also been compared to that of Jan van Huysum (1682-1749). Typically, these paintings show elaborate floral arrangements staged on a marble or stone ledge, often in the open air, with an abundance of flowers overhanging a large vase almost to the point of concealment. The flowers were usually exotic specimens, chosen for their spectacular shape and colour, with no allowance made for seasonal anomalies.

It would be entirely wrong to consider Wainwright’s version as simple copies of the Dutch masters as he does little more than mimic their manner. His style is entirely modern and his arrangements contain flowers, which one would expect to find in a 19th century English garden. The example shown here consists of white Helichrysum as a centrepiece surrounded by richly coloured Helianthus, Chrysanthemums and Hibiscus. A long string of Nasturtium and some Oak leaves provide the greenery. In keeping with the Dutch tradition, the insect life includes a brightly coloured Peacock butterfly with wings fully displayed; a grasshopper clinging to the Nasturtium; a snail on the edge of the table; and a tiny beetle crawling towards the pink rose.

Wainwright often worked in a large format and paintings of 50x40 inches are not unusual. He also painted still life of fruit in a similar manner and works depicting wildlife and dead game set in a landscape are also known. His name is sometimes given as Wainewright and he is often described as John II Wainwright. He exhibited at the British Institute and at the Royal Society of British Artists from an address at Hemmings Row, London, in 1861 and Cottage Lane, Skerton, Lancaster in 1869. The Tate Gallery holds a fine example of his work.


Lewis Taylor Gibb fl.1920-1950

Photograph of a painting by Lewis Taylor Gibb.

Summer

Oil on panel, 16 x 12 inches
Signed by the artist on label verso
Title inscribed verso on original label
Also inscribed verso with title and artist details

Provenance:
Hamilton Estate, County Fermanagh;
Thence by descent to current owner
Price GB£1,350


This is almost certainly a view near Dedham in Northeast Essex. The painting bears a remarkably close resemblance to Gibb’s The Stour near Dedham, Leighton House Museum, London.

Gibb was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Hibernian Academy between the years 1928 and 1935. Occasional still lifes appear but he was primarily a landscape painter. Some of his RHA paintings have titles related to the current example; e.g., a work from 1930 entitled Autumn. Like most artists of his generation, he was a painter of the seasons. Apart from these seasonal landscapes, which included titles such as Passing Showers and September, he also painted farmyard scenes, moorland, mountains views and fine pastoral scenes. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy; at the Paris Salon; and many other leading venues. Shortly after this work was painted, he moved to Essex and set up his Holm Croft studio in West Mersea, near Colchester, where he found ample inspiration for his compositions. Little is known about his life and he joins many other fine artists from this period waiting to be discovered.



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