This is an impressive, large haying scene by Frederick William Nelson Whitehead (1853-1938) for sale. Acquired directly from the artist's great-niece, the work is an oil on canvas that measures 24" x 36" unframed and 30" x 42" framed. It depicts a vibrant farming scene in Dorset with numerous figures and wonderful golden light of a hazy, humid late summer day. The work is signed lower right and is titled, "Threshing Near Wareham" on the reverse. The work dates to c. 1920 and is a wonderful example of the artist's mature style, with wonderful handling of the light. The frame is a new Whistler-style frame that is historically accurate. Condition of both the painting and frame is excellent and the work is ready to hang. It should be noted that oils by Whitehead with numerous figures are highly uncommon.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Frederick Whitehead was a prominent British oil painter, watercolorist, and etcher active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied at the Leamington School of Art and later trained at the Académie Julian in Paris under both Lefebvre and Boulanger. During his time in France, Whitehead traveled extensively around the countryside, including trips to Barbizon, and became a proponent of working en plein 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. The artist also has an excellent auction track record.
As always, thank you for looking and please call or email me with questions or requests for additional photos. Bryan Roberts
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