miércoles, 21 de junio de 2017


Christa Zaat

La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, exterior

Edward Robert Hughes (British painter) 1851 – 1914
Midsummer Eve, ca. 1908
watercolour and gouache on paper
114 x 76.2 cm.
signed E.R. Hughes. RWS. (lower left); inscribed and titled on the backboard and inscribed and titled on a label on the reverse of the frame
private collection

Catalogue Note
This painting belongs to a traditional Victorian genre of fairies shown frolicking in their "natural" woodland environment. A ring of winged, plump, child-like creatures form around a young woman, perhaps a wood nymph. Holding a flute under her arms, her golden dress lifted, the woman poses as if she has been invited to perform a song -- her stage the loamy grass, her curtain the lush leaves of the trees, and her flood-lights the illuminated shells, flowers, and seed pods held aloft by her minature audience. In this mix of the natural and the supernatural, the theatrical and the real, Hughes fulfills the contemporary demand for fairy subjects while infusing the work with the artistic ideals of the late Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and British Romantic painters. First exhibited and adored at the Royal Watercolor Society in 1908, the painting transports the viewer into a world of sensual pleasures, yet does not deny a meticulous observation of nature and intricate painterly technique, providing an excuse for an onlooker's lengthy examination. A talented watercolorist, Hughes uses the medium to fill the surface with hazy, dreamlike swabs of saturated color, and employs more heavily bodied gouache to create shape and form, mixing the earth-bound with the light-hearted and playful. As such, he succeeds in creating a mood rather than a narrative (this is not a scene inspired by Shakespeare as Huskisson's, see lot 87) providing a peek into a world outside the troubles of mundane reality.

* * *

Edward Robert Hughes was the nephew of Arthur Hughes and a studio assistant to William Holman Hunt. He began his artistic career among the Pre-Raphaelites and the majority of his work is executed with the meticulous observation of nature and minute technique associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, exterior

No hay comentarios: