Art of the Seasons

Many artists throughout the centuries have drawn their inspiration from nature. From landscapes to still life paintings, nature offers an endlessly changing and always fascinating subject. The seasons, of course, provide some of the most noticeable changes in the natural world, and art allows the ability to capture the season, evoking all the memories and emotions that entails.

 Trafalgar Square looking towards the National Gallery from Canada House, Edward WessonEDWARD WESSON (1910-1983) Trafalgar Square looking towards the National Gallery from Canada House, 1950

In this cityscape, the warm stone of Canada House, providing the traditional repoussoir at the left, offers a contrast against the pale blue-grey sky of this wintry urban scene. The delicate shapes of the leafless trees reveal the structure of the National Gallery behind them, whilst passers-by wear their heavy winter coats. The piece neatly evokes the cold, bright days of winter in the capital through its pale palette with splashes of bright colour.

Still life with mushrooms, preserving pan & a vase of daisies, Robert BoudryROBERT BOUDRY (1878-1961) – Still life with mushrooms, preserving pan & a vase of daisies

As mentioned earlier, it is not only landscapes that can evoke a sense of the season, and this still life offers a delightful glimpse of spring. The blue background evokes clear spring skies, with the soft, warm colour of the preserving pan echoing the growing warmth of the spring sun. The lively, bright colours of the daisies offer a cheerful splash of life which draws the eye upwards, whilst the reflections provide interest towards the bottom of the piece. Altogether, it is a busy yet tranquil scene, evoking the heady but peaceful days of the spring season.

Orange trees, Vanessa GarwoodVanessa Garwood (1982 – ) Orange trees

This Spanish scene provides a palpable sense of the summer heat; from the vivid blue splash of sky to the warm terracotta tones of the earth and the vibrancy of the oranges, set against the green grass and foliage. The piece not only evokes the warmth and long sunny days of the summer, but for many viewers also offers a sense of the much-anticipated summer holiday to such locales.

Still life of pears, apples, grapes and a Chinese jar, Charles Thomas BaleCHARLES THOMAS BALE (fl.1866-1892) Still life of pears, apples, grapes and a Chinese jar

Returning to the still life for our final season, the warm tones of autumn are found throughout this piece. This is, of course, most apparent in the autumnal leaves, but also in the harvested grapes, pears and apples and the setting in which they are placed. Interestingly, whilst the grapes are perfect, the apples are depicted as pockmarked and past their prime. Whilst this offered a moral significance to his 19th century audience, with overtones of the apple picked by Eve, to a modern audience it speaks more of late harvests, and of the year drawing towards its end.

Whether you’re seeking to bring an evocation of your favourite season into your home, or searching for the ideal reflection of nature’s beauty, you will find an exceptional range of 19th and 20th century paintings for sale in our collection, alongside more recent works by upcoming artists of the 21st century. These pieces and more are permanently displayed and available to view during week days and by appointment – contact us for details.

About Mark Mitchell

Dealers in 19th-20th Century British and Continental Works of Art
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