Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris, Bt. (1889-1982)
This work demonstrates the talents of a young painter beginning to establish himself as an observer of the natural world...
This early landscape is one of Morris’s first artistic ventures into a genre that would become integral to his travel painting. Although the precise location of the view is not presently known, a description written on the original backboard by a representative of the Ixion Society notes that it was painted circa 1914 and was thought by Morris’s mother, Lady Wilhelmina Morris, to be his first watercolour. However, an earlier work entitled Moonlight on the River (1906) (currently with Philip Mould & Company) is believed to have been painted eight years earlier and so the present work may not in fact have been Morris’s first watercolour. In addition, a work of a similar palette and dated 1908 displays the same hues with equal vibrancy to those seen here, therefore suggesting both were executed at the same time.
It is perhaps a depiction of the three peaks of Snowdonia in his native Wales, painted in spring during which time the vast fields of rhododendron flowers bloom in a vibrant pink that envelopes the surrounding landscape. Morris would travel to Canada via Boston in early 1909, not returning until 1910. This work was most likely completed prior to his voyage.
At the age of 19, assimilating the post-impressionistic, pointillist tendencies of artists such as Georges Seurat (1859–1891) might have come more naturally to an artist looking for inspiration. At this stage in his early career, Morris was beginning to explore an independent style but was far from finding one that was truly his own. This work demonstrates the talents of a young painter beginning to establish himself as an observer of the natural world.