It’s often said that artists march to the tune of a different drummer. For their own various reasons, many have felt it unnecessary to display their works at the major exhibitions. They were instead content with selling their works at smaller galleries and working on commissions.
Henry Maidment was one of these artists, and that is perhaps why he was included in the reference work by Jeremy Wood, “Hidden Talents: A Dictionary of Neglected Artists Working 1880-1950.” Little is known of the artist, but from the dates seen on his paintings over the years it is known that he painted from 1889 to the start of the First World War. He is most known for his depictions of charming pastoral landscapes and river and farm scenes.
It is generally acknowledged that Maidment used at least two other pseudonyms, Robin Fenson and A. Wynn. This painting is signed "R. Fenson" on the bottom-left corner, and dated 1906, all in red, as was his custom. In “Neglected Artists” Jeremy Wood has illustrations of paintings under all three names. It will be easily seen that the three were the work of a single artist. Wood notes that “(t)he quality of the work and the decorative subject matter have made (his) paintings increasingly collected in recent years.” In fact, my trusty 2003 edition of “Davenport’s Art Reference Price Guide” states that one of Maidment’s works sold for $7,500.
Whichever name he used, the artist was at his best painting the country scenes he loved, often with vignettes of people, ponds, ducks and bridges. This painting is no exception and is easily discernible as this artist’s work. Whether or not he signed his works or used a pseudonym, his style is so distinct that the signatures or monograms are not necessary.
As in many of his works, there is a quaint bridge over a pond with ducks and figures walking over the bridge. In this painting Maidment has installed two children in white aprons and bonnets walking across it. In the horizon is a far-off building silhouetted by the dramatic colors of orange and pink created as the sun sets. In fact, the sky is one of the more magical elements of this beautiful painting.
The artist placed his central cottage right alongside the pond with windows overlooking the fields beyond. There is an abundance of shrubs and trees exquisitely painted and reflecting the luminous quality of the sunset. One of the reasons that I have been enthralled by this artist for many years is that he never disappoints; he always delivers a beautiful and tranquil country landscape. This painting is a great example of an idyllic landscape depicting another time and place.
Finely painted and obviously done at the height of his artist powers, it is easy to say they are pleasing, charming and highly decorative. Who wouldn’t wish to just look out their window and take in this scene?
I have had the painting professionally cleaned and restored and placed in a gorgeous, custom made wood and gesso composition frame with gilded slip that is a replica of what it likely would originally have been. It is now ready to hang in your home on a wall that requires something that is extraordinarily charming.
It measures 37-1/2 inches wide by 27 inches high, including the frame.