ALFRED STANNARD (BRITISH 1806-1889)
SEA SHORE, MORNING
Oil on canvas
Signed and indistinctly dated '18**' (lower left); inscribed (on a label on the stretcher) 'No. 3 Sea Shore'
38.6 x 64.8cm (15 x 25½ in.)
Private collection, UK, then by descent
Possibly, Exhibition of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts, 1849, no.19
Harold AE Day, East Anglian Painters, Vol. III, Eastbourne Fine Art, Sussex, 1969, p.186, record of the above
Sea shore, morning is a beautifully calm panoramic seascape of subtle and exquisite colouring, with more than half the canvas devoted to the detailed study of a cloud-scudded sky. Though the scene is still and with little incident, the lighting is deftly dramatic from the layering of dark clouds on the horizon, to the foreground cast in unexpected shadow. Here three highly finished fisherman check lobster pots by the broken mast of a ship, while the middle-ground charts their colleagues progress from ship to shore. Stannard's serene surface is completed with intense precision, which William Frederick Dickes describes as 'an amount of Dutch finish quite unusual in the true Norwich School.' ( The Norwich School of Painting , Jarrold & Sons, London, p.534)
Writing of the celebrated family and their maritime views, Peter Kennedy Scott explains their continued importance: 'The Stannard family, who often painted ships at sea, used the sands for their subjects too. Delightful paintings of fishermen, with their boats and haul, provide us with a lasting record of the life and work these men endured. In fact, much of the Norwich School landscape painting is memorable for its historic portrayal of the life and times of this part of eastern England and the toils of the past.' ( A Romantic Look at the Norwich School Landscapes by a Handful of Great Little Masters , Acer Art Publishing, 1998, p.36)
The canvas is relined, paint layers appear stable. UV reveals scattered retouching and a restored tear above the figures on the left as well as along the edges. Stretcher marks slightly visible and fine craquelure throughout. Tape along outer edges.
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