William Frank Calderon (British, 1865-1943) A private trial
Lot 53AR
William Frank Calderon (British, 1865-1943) A private trial
£20,000 - 30,000
US$ 34,000 - 50,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
William Frank Calderon (British, 1865-1943)
A private trial
signed and dated 'W. Frank Calderon/1890' (lower left), inscribed with title and artist's name and address on remnants of old labels attached to the reverse
oil on canvas
74.5 x 104.5cm (29 5/16 x 41 1/8in).

Footnotes

  • William Frank Calderon was equally at home in the world of portraiture and animal painting but he is perhaps most celebrated for his scenes of rural country life, such as A private trial. He was the third son of Philip Hermogenes Calderon, the Keeper of the Royal Academy in London (1887–1898). From a young age he was exposed to the world of arts, with his father's house in St John's Wood regularly frequented by leading artists of the day. Educated at the Slade School of Fine Art, Calderon studied alongside Henry Scott Tuke and Thomas Cooper Gotch. He found success at the early age of sixteen when Feeding the hungry, his first submission to the Royal Academy was bought by Queen Victoria for £12.

    In 1894 Calderon founded the School of Animal Painting in Baker Street. Students were encouraged to sketch from life in natural poses with a focus on anatomy. Amongst his students were Lionel Edwards and Cecil Aldin, artists who went on to build careers around their depiction of animals. Calderon's studio was reported to have been filled with horses, cats, goats and a number of dogs, with Calderon often selecting his own pets as models for his works. Many years later he collated his studies into his book Animal Painting and Anatomy which was published in 1936, accompanied by a series of illustrations. One of Calderon's most defining qualities was his emphasis on draughtsmanship, stressing that, 'it is the very essence of all pictorial art, and that without it painting would be meaningless.'1

    With the outbreak of the First World War Calderon moved the school to Seaton in Somerset. He continued to exhibit regularly at the Royal Academy and found international success being awarded a Gold Medal at the Paris Salon in 1906. He also illustrated a number of books including The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox published in 1895.

    1William Frank Calderon, Animal Painting and Anatomy, 1936, p.17
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