Thomas Cooper Gotch (British, 1854-1931) The children of L. Breitmeyer, Esq. 54 1/2 x 72in (138.4 x 182.9cm)

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Lot 85W
Thomas Cooper Gotch
(British, 1854-1931)
The children of L. Breitmeyer, Esq. 54 1/2 x 72in (138.4 x 182.9cm)

US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£ 16,000 - 23,000
Thomas Cooper Gotch (British, 1854-1931)
The children of L. Breitmeyer, Esq.
signed 'T.C. Gotch' (lower right); signed, titled and inscribed 'T.C. Gotch / The Malt House / Newlyn / Penzance' (on the overlap)
oil on canvas
54 1/2 x 72in (138.4 x 182.9cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Sale, Christie's, London, 6 November 1996, lot 116.

    Exhibited
    London, Royal Academy, 1898, no. 375.

    Literature
    Athenaeum, No. 3679, 30 April 1898, p. 573;
    The Times, 1 June 1898, p. 4;
    Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: 1769-1904, Vol. 2, p. 279.

    A leading figure in the Newlyn art colony in Cornwall since 1881, Gotch is less known for his early rural, realist style of that period, but rather for his later Pre-Raphaelite-inspired compositions. After traveling with his wife to Florence in 1891, Gotch adopted an enigmatic, allegorical genre style rooted in medievalism, replete with vibrant and exuberant colors that linked him from then on to the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

    The works created during this period depict symbolic female figures, and very often children, against elaborate Italian textiles in frozen solemnity, evoking the static order of the early Renaissance.

    Gotch was one of the few 19th century painters of children capable of merging an idealized version of childhood with the personality of the individual sitter. The children depicted in the painting presented here; the brooding Winifred, the confidant Alan, and the reserved baby of the family, Cecil, are all united by the richly patterned interior and tightly controlled composition and yet set apart by a clearly defined sense of selves. As the art critic Charles Caffin wrote of the artist in 1910: "In his imagination childhood marches on, already catching something of the coming light". Reference: Charles Caffin, "A Painter of Childhood and Girlhood", Harper's Monthly Magazine, vol. 59, May 1910, pp. 922-932.
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