Highgate From Upper Holloway

size(cm): 55x20
Sale price£126 GBP


A skilled portraitist from an early age, John Absolon began his career as a scene painter for the theaters of Drury Lane and Covent Garden. Beginning in 1835 he spent four years in Paris, where he studied the technique of miniature painting. Returning to London, he became a member of the New Society of Painters in Water-Colors, which had been founded in 1832 to rival the exclusivity of the Society of Painters in Water-Colors (known as the Old Water Color Society) and was more inclusive than it had been. figurative. rather than purely landscapers.

Absolon was highly regarded in the 19th century for his scenes of English provincial life. Art Journal critic James Dafforne described him in 1892 as "one of the most popular figure painters in watercolours", concluding that "his style of treatment is natural and unaffected, his pencil free but careful, and his bright coloration without exaggeration, or a sequel to violent contrasts".

Among Absolon's most important projects was the series of ten paintings completed in 1868 for Guy's Hospital, London, which was presented at the New Society of Painters in Water Colors. Reported in The Observer on March 22, 1868, as depicting "outdoor incidents, and altogether of a gay character", the series comprised scenes of harvest, haymaking, flirtation, and going to church, as well as various idyllic themes. Swiss and Italian.

Absolon's 1850 watercolor in the Art Gallery of NSW collection, The Haymakers, insists that summer haymaking is the season for relaxation and play, as well as work. The gracious rustics have put aside their wooden forks and rakes after haying the cut hay and shaping it into low ridges (rows) to be transported for storage in a haystack.

Absolon's idealization of rustic innocence and celebration of agricultural tradition recalls a long artistic and literary tradition depicting life and work in the countryside.

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