Monday, March 22, 2010

Picture of the Week No.16 - James Pryde

Over the last few years gouache (or bodycolour) has become one of my favourite mediums. It's chalky finish and its ability to be re-wetted and worked into gives it useful qualities for preparatory work as well as finished studies and it goes well with ink and watercolour. While it can of course be used in neat bold colours and typified by Roger Hilton or Alan Davie in the collection, something about it lends itself very well to monochrome or a muted pallette. This weeks picture of the week is by James Pryde and is a black and white study (with a just a hint of blue) for the oil painting 'The Unknown Corner, and uses the milkyness of diluted white gouache with the flat matt black in a strong and evocative way. KP

JAMES PRYDE (1866-1941)
The Unknown Corner, c.1912

bodycolour on paper, 18.3 ´ 15.3 cm

Accession No.: P.449

Painted c.1912, this is a study for an oil (85.8 x 70.2 cm) exhibited at the Goupil Gallery in 1912 and now belonging to Robert Fleming Holdings (no.559 in the 1992 exhibition).

Pryde was born in Edinburgh, the son of the headmaster of Queen Street Ladies College. Through his mother he was descended from two Scottish artists, Robert Scott Lauder and J.E. Lauder. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy and then in Paris, for three months under Adolphe - William Bouguereau (1825-1905), before settling in London in 1890. There he joined his brother-in-law, William NICHOLSON, designing posters under the name of ‘J. & W. Beggarstaff’. He produced little after 1925 although he designed sets for Paul Robeson’s Othello in 1930.

PROVENANCE: Piccadilly Gallery, from whom purchased by Gallery, May 1963.
EXHIBITIONS: Watercolours from Bedford, Norwich, Castle Museum, 1965, no.44; James Pryde 1866-1941, Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 1992, no.60.
REFERENCES: James Pryde, 1992, p.100, no.60.
NOTES: There is an oil version of this c.1912, oil on canvas, first exhibited at the Goupil Gallery, 1912, and as The Balcony in Pryde’s one-man show at the Leicester Galleries, 1933 (dimensions 85.8 x 70.2 cm).

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