This is a rare view by Frederick William Nelson Whitehead (1853-1938) of the village of Sutton Poyntz. Whitehead was a prominent British painter and etcher active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied at the Leamington School of Art and later at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he trained under both Lefebvre and Boulanger. During his time in Paris, Whitehead traveled extensively throughout France and became a proponent of working en plain air, or out of doors.
After returning to England in 1870, Whitehead settled for a time in Dorset and there met Thomas Hardy, with whom he became lifelong friends. Whitehead began exhibiting at this time as well and became known for his British scenes, especially views of Warwickshire, Wessex, and Dorset. He was greatly influenced by Constable and liked to explore the changes in light and atmosphere in his works. Whitehead was a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the Royal Academy and exhibited extensively with both, as well as with prominent galleries in London. His work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Leamington Art Museum.
This work, acquired directly from the artist's great-niece, is an oil on chamfered mahogany panel that measures 10" x 14" unframed and 15.5" x 19.5" framed. The painting was done c. 1900 and the scene depicted is that of children playing by the duck pond in the village of Sutton Poyntz, which lies in Dorset. The work is faintly titled and signed on the reverse and is presented in a new custom Larson-Juhl frame. Both it and the painting are in excellent condition.
Historical note: The village of Sutton Poyntz derives its name from the Poyntz family, which held the manor there beginning in the 13th century. The village has been wonderfully restored and a picture of the duck pond as it looks today is included in this listing.
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