Offered is an atmospheric watercolor on heavy paper by Frederick William Nelson Whitehead (1853-1938), who was a prominent British painter and etcher active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied at the Leamington School of Art under John Burgess and later at the Académie Julian in Paris under both Lefebvre and Boulanger. Whitehead traveled extensively in France at this time, including trips to Barbizon and Gretz. During these travels he became a proponent of working en plain air, or out of doors, and carried on with this tradition throughout his career.
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. In 1881, Whitehead exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy. He was subsequently was made an Associate Member of the Royal Academy and also became a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. Whitehead exhibited extensively with both organizations, as well as with prominent galleries in London, and his work is held today in numerous public and private collections, including the Leamington Art Museum. For more information about the artist, Wikipedia offers an excellent page of details.
This work depicts an expansive marsh scene at the innermost part of Poole Harbour (located in Dorset) with the town of Wareham visible to the right in the mid-distance. A flock of gulls rises to the right and other gulls gather in left mid-ground. The work is signed lower right and is titled "Poole Harbour" and also "Wareham in the Distance" on the reverse. The watercolor dates to the first quarter of the 20th century. The framing dates to the 1980's and consists of a single mat under plexiglass and simple silver metal frame. The work would likely benefit from a more elaborate framing job but the current one is certainly serviceable. The painting itself is in excellent condition and measures 9.5" x 13.5" sight size and 16.25" x 20.25" framed. The work was acquired directly from the artist's great-niece. Please contact me by phone or email if you have questions.
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