caption

William Nicholson, Elm Tree and Church

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All Rights Reserved)

Details

Country House
Mells Manor
Title(s)
Elm Tree and Church
Date
c.1927
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Overall height: 40.5 cm, Overall width: 33 cm
Artist
William Nicholson (1872-1949)
Catalogue Number
MM86
Signature
  • Signed lower left (sgraffito) and lower right (painted) ‘N’

Description

The principal focus of the present composition is a large elm tree, which no longer exists, as it was felled during the 1970s. To the left is the parish church of St Andrew. The view in the painting looks south-east, although Nicholson has taken liberties with the actual topography, having placed the high wall along the Manor House entrance drive, inaccurately, in the same plane as Lutyens’s summer house, which appears at the extreme left of the composition. Also, in reality, the elm tree was not near the church but at least four hundred yards away in a field.1 In the left foreground the shadow of the artist at his easel can be discerned on the grass.

by Martin Postle

Bibliography

Lillian Browse, William Nicholson, London : Rupert Hart-Davis, 1956, p. 331, entitled View of a Church Tower and a Tree


Sanford Schwartz, William Nicholson, New Haven and London : Yale University Press, 2004, p. 152, illustrated in colour


Patricia Reed, William Nicholson: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, London : Modern Art Press, 2011, cat. no. 577, p. 459


Footnotes

  1. Raymond Asquith, Earl of Oxford and Asquith, private communication, 17 July 2020.

    1

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