Charles Edwin Baldock (1876-1941) was the grandson of his more famous grandfather, James Walsham Baldock (1822-1898), who raised him. Both were landscape and animal painters, and both painted in oil and watercolor.
Sally Mitchell, in her “Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists,” writes of Charles’ “fine sensitivity and good use of sunlight.” At age 21 he was made a member of the Nottingham Society of Artists, and exhibited 33 paintings at the Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery in his lifetime.
Some of the most beloved Victorian paintings feature animals. They were a very popular subject matter in the 19th century, as well as the beginning of the 20th. Even known portrait painters often painted animals, especially household pets, as a way of supplementing their incomes.
This amusing painting appears to fall in that category. The mischievous black pony is intently and cautiously eyeing his painter, perhaps as if caught being where he was not supposed to be. For unusual added interest, the artist’s shadow is plainly seen, as well as, no doubt, that of the owner of the pony. The Jack Russell terrier is not paying much attention to what is going on in the courtyard; rather, he is gazing out, looking for something more exciting farther out in the surrounding landscape. He apparently just ran out of the manor house to join the assembled group.
The artist gives us quite a lot of detail here in regards to the house. It is a formidable stone house with stone mullions. There are some steps going from the courtyard to another level upon which a stone arch sits. The countryside is secondary to the importance of the story being related of house and its characters.
The painting is housed in its fine, original wood and gesso frame. I have had the frame restored to bring back its original character.
The painting is in excellent condition. I have had it professionally cleaned and restored.
This work is signed and dated 1906 on the lower left. As with other paintings by this talented Victorian artist, this one has a presence and charm all its own. I can’t think of any space that wouldn’t be enriched by this endearing work of art.
It measures 26 inches wide by 22 inches high, including the frame.
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