Ambrose McEvoy (1877-1927)
This energetic landscape follows McEvoy’s style of sketch-like, hastily painted strokes. The landscape displays the movement and patchwork colours of the autumn season, capturing the distant trees and active sky.
The present painting is a rare example of Ambrose McEvoy’s landscape work and is painted with the same unmistakeable confidence which characterises his bold society portraits...
McEvoy enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1893 to 1896, aged just 15. This came after encouragement from painter James Abbot McNeil Whistler (1834-1903), who spotted potential in the young artist, and later influenced McEvoy’s work. His artistic peers at the Slade included painters Augustus John (1878-1961) and William Orpen (1878-1931), along with Augustus’ sister Gwen John (1876-1939), with whom McEvoy was romantically linked.
McEvoy’s earlier work typically revolves around genre painting; capturing landscapes and interiors, however, after about 1915 he moved increasingly towards portraiture. McEvoy gained further public recognition as a War Artist during the First World War and was sent out to the Western Front and the North Sea, where he made a number of remarkable depictions of highly decorated lower-ranked soldiers. These portraits, which can be seen at the Imperial War Museum, display McEvoy’s ability to capture a moment as he saw it.
This energetic landscape follows McEvoy’s style of sketch-like, hastily painted strokes. The landscape displays the movement and patchwork colours of the autumn season, capturing the distant trees and active sky. Around this date McEvoy’s use of colour and handling of paint was increasingly experimental, with the form of his subject being so heavily reduced to the point of near abstraction. Painted at a fascination juncture in his career, therefore, the importance of this work when attempting to understand the progression of McEvoy’s work cannot be overstated.