λ Edward Seago (British 1910-1974)
Summer Morning, Chioggia
36 x 54cm (14 x 21¼ in.)
Executed in 1970.
Marlborough Fine Art, London
Property of a deceased estate
`Pagentry and music, palatial magnificence and the stench of squalor: gaiety, leisure, wealth and poverty -these things belong to Venice' Seago wrote in his diary. He first visited Venice in 1933 as the guest of an early patron, Henry Mond, Lord Melchett. The city of water and light captivated him and he returned there throughout his life, producing some of his most celebrated and memorable works. He explored the wider Venetian Lagoon, including Choggia, the town south of Venice, the subject of the present picture.
Edward Seago (1910-1974)
Edward Seago was one of the most popular English landscape painters of the 20th Century. He was born and lived in Norfolk throughout his life and the influence of the greatest artists of East Anglia, from the 17th Century Dutch-inspired Norwich School, to John Constable and Sir Alfred Munnings can be seen in his work. His light-filled landscapes, many with vast skies and billowing clouds are imbued with what one critic has described as `an understated emotional language'. The ten works included in our sale span the breadth of his long and very successful career and show his evolution as an artist from rural equestrian scenes to his travels further afield across Europe and Hong Kong, which went on to become some of his most celebrated and popular subjects.
Seago was largely self-taught and was influenced and mentored by leading landscape painters of the day such as Alfred East and Bertram Priestman who advised him not `to be unduly governed by what you see in art, but by what you see in nature' . His work gained wide popular appeal and his sell out exhibitions had queues around the block on opening day, but generally art critics saw him `merely recording his visual impressions' and struggled to place his work in the context of modernism and the growing interest in abstraction. He never became an Academician at the Royal Academy, but nonetheless he was a firm favourite with three generations of the Royal Family and in 1956 he was invited by Prince Philip to join him on a trip to the Antarctic aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia. Seago was also a prolific writer and published eleven books, including several with poems and prose by the Poet Laurette John Masefield. Seago was equally at home in the company of the aristocracy or country folk and his work enjoys broad popularity to this day with numerous collectors around the world.