Alfred William RICH, N.E.A.C. (1856-1921)
“Portchester Castle”, 1909
Signed "A.W.Rich" (lower right)
24.5 x 33 cm
43 x 54 cm (framed)
New English Art Club, Summer Exhibition, 1909, Cat. No. 317 ("Porchester Castle" [sic])
Walker's Galleries, London "Water-colours by Alfred W. Rich (1856-1921), 1 August-23 August 1961, No.11
Fine Art Society, November, 1968 (catalogue untraced)
Mr Magdi Latif Obeid, F.R.C.S. (1943-2021) (purchased from Heather Newman Gallery, 1990)
Illustrated Plate XXVI, p.102, Alfred W Rich, “Water Colour Painting”, Seeley, Service & Co Ltd, London, 1918
This picture will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Alfred William Rich currently in production.
In his book "Water Colour Painting" Alfred Rich wrote extensively about the creation of this picture. In addition to notes on the composition he describes colours used to create the washes. He also states how "Note should be taken of the two figures passing by the keep: these help to break up the monotony of so large a shadow".
Although with many of Rich's pictures there is a subtext to the choice of subject matter, it appears the artist's primary concern in this composition is an exercise in capturing abstract tonality created by dramatically contrasting 'chiaroscuro' light thrown on the structure of the ancient castle.
Previous owner R.E.S. Willison held an important collection, representing all periods of British art on paper - including works by Thomas Girtin, Francis Place, Edward Lear, Peter De Wint, Henry Scott Tuke James McBey and Alfred William Rich.
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