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All paintings in this catalogue are for sale and subject to Artists’ Resale Right For Directors’ contact details, please see the back of the catalogue 147 New Bond Street, London W1S 2TS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7493 3939 Fax: +44 (0)20 7499 3278 Email: paintings@richard-green.com • www.richard-green.com Exhibition opens: 13th June 2012 Monday – Friday 10.00 am – 6.00 pm; Saturday 10.00 am – 1.00 pm Cover detail: Yachts on the Thurne – Norfolk, catalogue no.12 Title page detail: Thurne Marshes – Norfolk, catalogue no.21


CONTENTS

FOREWORD INTRODUCTION

EAST ANGLIA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

A Suffolk farm The Orwell near Felixstowe The spritsail barge A Suffolk farm The beach at Kessingland A Suffolk stream Longshore boats on the beach Gathering storm – Suffolk coast Summer afternoon, Waxham beach Roll’s Barn, Ludham Fishermen’s boats off the East Coast Yachts on the Thurne – Norfolk Early spring near Martham, Norfolk Longshore boats, Norfolk Norfolk landscape Ludham marshes from Upper Horning Norfolk beach Norfolk marsh Landscape near Somerton, Norfolk Winter by the Thurne Thurne marshes – Norfolk Landscape near Upton, Norfolk By the upper Yare Barges at slack water

Opposite: A Suffolk farm, catalogue no.1

VENICE 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

The Grand Canal, Venice The Piazzetta, Venice Gondolas by the Salute, Venice Corner palazzo Santa Maria della Salute View from the Accademia Bridge, Venice The pink house, Venice Corner palazzo Morning sunlight, Chioggia

HOME AND ABROAD 34 35 36 37 38

Winter morning, Strand-on-the-Green Rue Saint-Julien Le Pauvre, Paris Fishing boats, Honfleur The Wells of Marrakech Street corner in Essaouira, Morocco

FLOWERS 39 40 41

September flowers White phlox Flowers in a vase


Edward Seago clearly valued the outdoors as much as Fields in Trust (formerly the National Playing Fields Association) and the millions of people who use our fields do. Seago had a long-standing relationship with many members of the Royal Family, in particular His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and it is fitting that this wonderful exhibition is being held in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Fields in Trust has been fortunate enough to receive stalwart support from both Her Majesty as our Patron and His Royal Highness who has been our President for more than sixty years. To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee our current programme, The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, aims to protect 2,012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities across the country as a legacy of this great event. Supported by The Duke of Cambridge, we will ensure that woodlands, playgrounds, sports pitches, bicycle trails, nature reserves and many more outdoor spaces are safeguarded for our children and grandchildren to enjoy – and for painters to commemorate through their art. We are grateful to Richard Green for inviting us to benefit from the proceeds of the sale of this most beautiful catalogue during the exhibition.

Alison Moore-Gwyn Moore Gwyn Chief Executive Fields in Trust (the new operating name for the National Playing Fields) Charity No. 306070 www.fieldsintrust.org


FOREWORD

We are delighted to present forty-one oils and watercolours by Edward Seago in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Seago had a warm association with four generations of the Royal Family and for twenty-one years was welcomed twice-yearly as a guest at Sandringham in Norfolk. Though he painted in Europe and beyond, Seago’s art was rooted in his love of the rolling Norfolk landscape, with its huge, everchanging skies. The Royal Family share his affection for the East Anglian countryside. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother built up a splendid collection of Seago’s work; he gave painting advice to Prince Philip and Prince Charles, both keen artists and patrons of artists. The reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been marked by a flowering of the arts and the opening of the Royal Collections, such as those at Buckingham Palace, for public enjoyment. Richard Green also has a long association with Edward Seago, selling more than 750 paintings by the artist since 1973. This is our fifteenth exhibition devoted exclusively to Seago. We are very pleased to donate the sales of this catalogue to Fields in Trust, which has been supported by Her Majesty the Queen as its Patron and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh as its President for more than sixty years. Under its Patron the Duke of Cambridge, The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge aims to protect 2,012 outdoor recreational spaces for young and old, sportsmen and painters alike: an aim that Edward Seago would have thoroughly approved.

Richard Green


EDWARD SEAGO, ROYAL PAINTER: a Diamond Jubilee celebration

Edward Seago’s work has delighted four generations of the Royal Family: Queen Mary; King George VI and Queen Elizabeth; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; and HRH the Prince of Wales. Norwich-born, Seago lived much of his life in East Anglia while packing in many other adventures, including a spell as a young man travelling with a circus and an ‘interesting War’ sketching the Italian Campaign of 1945 as the guest of General Alexander. After the Second World War, Seago bought the seventeenth century Dutch House at Ludham on the Norfolk Broads. He increasingly focussed on painting the gently-rolling landscape of vast skies, huge cornfields studded with noble oaks, high-piled summer clouds reflected in the meandering waterways of the Broads, and brutal winters of mist and frosted stubble. He shared his love of the Norfolk landscape with the Royal Family, for whom Sandringham, near King’s Lynn, had been a cherished retreat since the days of Edward VII. Early in his career Edward Seago concentrated on portrait and equestrian subjects. His first royal connection was with the future King George VI’s sister Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood. In 1931 he was invited to Egerton House, the Harewoods’ Newmarket stud, to paint the Earl’s Ascot winner Alcester; this was followed by a portrait of the Princess out riding. A man of sensitivity and charm, Seago mixed easily with widely varied members of high society. In the 1930s he enjoyed a close friendship with the family of Henry Mond, 2nd Lord Melchett, the son of the founder of ICI. During the War he formed a bond with several high-ranking Army officers, including General Harold Alexander and General Auchinleck, both of them keen amateur painters. It was at Alexander’s headquarters in the wooded hills above Siena that Seago first met George VI, who was on a secret, moraleboosting visit to the Italian Campaign. Seago, possessed of a photographic memory, subsequently made a vivid sketch of the King which he gave to one of Alexander’s aides-de-camp.


In 1947 Seago was commissioned by the RAF Association to paint George VI, the first time he had been portrayed in RAF uniform. Despite Seago’s worries about the brevity of the sittings, his two RAF portraits were a great success and the following year Seago depicted Queen Elizabeth. A painting of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947 allowed Seago’s swift, allusive brushwork to flicker over the red and gold pomp of the royal procession sweeping into Parliament Square. Seago also designed a silver mascot of St George and the Dragon for the young couple’s car. These were the years when Seago’s annual Bond Street exhibitions, alternately of oils and watercolours, were sell-outs: queues formed before the doors opened in the morning and his dealer Colnaghi was forced to issue numbered catalogues to avoid a stampede. Visitors to the 1948 exhibition included Queen Mary, Prince Philip and his mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth, who admired her portrait. Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) had exquisite taste and a great empathy for artists. She acquired so many of Seago’s works that it became a tradition for him to present her with a painting at Christmas and on each birthday. He was invited to stay at Sandringham every January and July, partaking of that quiet enjoyment of family and country life that was the Royal Family’s chief joy. Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret spent 5th February 1952 on the Norfolk Broads, lunching with Seago at the Dutch House. That evening at Sandringham, the Queen enjoyed looking at Seago’s new crop of paintings with her husband, who was in frail health. As she later wrote to Seago: ‘I have been longing to write and tell you what real pleasure your lovely pictures gave the King….He was enchanted with them all, and we spent a very happy time looking at them together. We had such a truly gay dinner, with the King like his old self, and more picture looking after dinner….Thank you with all my heart for giving us the heavenly pictures’1 . Sadly, George VI died in his sleep that night. His twenty-five-year old daughter, at the time on a visit to Africa with Prince Philip, thus became Queen Elizabeth II. 2012 marks sixty years in which she has dedicated herself to the service of her country, following the example of her beloved father. Edward Seago was invited by the Minister of Works, David Eccles, to be one of the official painters of the Coronation on 2nd June 1953. The same year, on a more informal note, he showed at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters a picture of Princess Margaret playing the piano at Sandringham. In 1956 Seago made an equestrian portrait of the Queen in her uniform as Colonel-in-Chief

of the Coldstream Guards: the Queen visited the studio at Ludham for the first time. Everyone who was acquainted with Edward Seago loved to watch him paint, and the Royal Family was no exception. He was generous and unselfconscious in revealing his techniques. The exquisite distillation of essential motifs in his landscape oils and the balletic fluency of his handling of watercolour wash seemed magical, but was in fact the result of decades of training the mind and eye and of observing nature. He gave valuable advice to Prince Philip and in due course to Prince Charles, both serious painters who have taken the opportunity in off-duty moments of their official royal travels to stretch themselves artistically. In 1956 Prince Philip asked Seago to join him on the royal yacht Britannia for a trip to Antarctica, confident that he would be deeply inspired by this rarely-visited terrain. Seago’s paintings of the Antarctic are among his most outstanding. He painted directly from nature in oil on board, exhilarated by the light and strange beauty of this pristine region. On Boxing Day 1956 the company on Britannia sighted its first iceberg. Seago later wrote: ‘I thought there was going to be wide expanses of nothingness and now and again queer upright icebergs and of course I thought it would be colourless; a mixture of greys and blacks and whites, but instead of that the colour was tremendous. It was full of rich blues and greens and the cavities, particularly in the icebergs which one would expect to be very dark, weren’t dark. They glowed with the most rich luminous blues and greens which were tremendously exciting to paint’2. Seago presented Prince Philip with about sixty richly-impasted Antarctic oils which give a superb sense of the region’s ‘space and loneliness and greatness’; today these mostly hang at Balmoral. Seago was probably the first professional artist to paint in the Antarctic, following in the footsteps of Dr Edward Wilson, the medic on Scott’s expedition and a highly talented amateur painter. Life on Britannia was congenial. Seago and Prince Philip each did portraits of the other painting, and they collaborated on designing a ‘Red Nose Certificate’ to celebrate crossing the Antarctic Circle on New Year’s Day 1957. Prince Philip was fascinated to watch Seago at work, ‘because while the results were fantastic, just watching the way he achieved them was even more fantastic’3. The Prince was awed by Seago’s photographic memory: ‘if he’d ever painted anything he could always remember exactly how he’d painted it; not just what he’d painted but the way he’d done it’4 . This was


underlined when a painting that Seago had given to the Wardroom of the John Biscoe, the Antarctic research ship in which the party had travelled to some of the remotest islands, was taken home by its Captain. Seago replaced it with a perfect replica painted from memory ten years later. Prince Charles has inherited his father’s passion for painting, especially of landscape watercolours. He, too, has been deeply influenced by Edward Seago, whom he associates with happy childhood visits with his father to the Dutch House: ‘the cosy, paint-smelling, picture-crammed studio, the delicious food, the garden leading down to a branch of the broads….all this was imprinted joyfully on my mind’5. When Prince Charles wanted to pursue the art of watercolour, Seago ‘talked him through’ one of his own watercolours of Thames barges on a Norfolk broad. Emulating his technique, the Prince found, like his father before him, that ‘I felt exactly as though I were riding a bicycle extremely badly on the ground while the painter was on another on a high wire above’6. Both Prince Charles and Prince Philip, however, have imbibed Seago’s lessons of application and dedication to their art, while the Prince of Wales, following his father’s example, often invites artists to accompany him on official royal tours. Prince Charles paints fine watercolours of landscapes with which he has strong ties, in particular Tuscany, Scotland and the open, dramatic Norfolk countryside. In their concern for the environment, reflected in their charities, and their deep love of unspoilt landscape, Seago’s royal admirers are worthy pupils of an artist who celebrated nature with such grace and intensity.

Susan Morris

1 2 3 4 5 6

Quoted in Jean Goodman, Edward Seago: the Other Side of the Canvas, London 1978, p.213. Quoted in Goodman, op. cit., p.221. Quoted in Goodman, p.220. Ibid. Quoted in Goodman, ‘Forward by HRH the Prince of Wales’. Ibid.


EA ST ANGLIA Born in Norwich, Edward Seago lived much of his life in East Anglia, settling in 1945 at Ludham on the Norfolk Broads. He drew his deepest inspiration from Suffolk and Norfolk, with its open, rolling terrain and huge skies. Seago could condense the poetic essence of a landscape: an oak tree in a vast cornďŹ eld; low, crumbling, sandy cliffs; medieval houses tucked into a fold of land. He was as happy painting the chill mist of a winter morning as a summer’s day with children playing on the beach and high-scudding clouds. A keen sailor, Seago depicted with affection and accuracy the Thames barges with their rust-coloured sails that provide a vertical accent in his panoramic coastlines. His palette is attuned to the colours of East Anglia: tender green, sprouting wheat; pale beige, susurrating reeds; blue sky and white clouds reected in the Broads.

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1

A Suffolk farm Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 26 x 36 in / 66 x 91.4 cm Frame size: 35 Bâ „c x 43 Bâ „c in / 90.2 x 110.5 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London Private collection, Australia Richard Green, London, 2002 Private collection, UK Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 2005, catalogue no.7, illus. in colour and on the cover


2

The Orwell near Felixstowe Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 14 x 20 in / 35.6 x 50.8 cm Frame size: 20 Dâ „e x 26 Dâ „e / 52.7 x 67.9 cm Provenance: Private collection, UK


3

The spritsail barge Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 26 Bâ „c x 36 Bâ „c in / 67.3 x 92.7 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London Private collection, UK Richard Green, London, 1991 Private collection, UK


4

A Suffolk farm Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 26 in / 50.8 x 66 cm Frame size: 26 Dâ „e x 32 Dâ „e in / 67.9 x 83.2 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London; from whom bought by a UK private collector


5

The beach at Kessingland Signed; titled on the overlap Oil on canvas: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 26 Dâ „e x 36 Dâ „e in / 67.9 x 93.3 cm Provenance: Private collection, Canada


6

A Suffolk stream Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 26 in / 50.8 x 66 cm Frame size: 28 Bâ „c x 34 Bâ „c in / 72.4 x 87.6 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co., London Gray Philips (d.1973), then by inheritance to Warren R Austen, Santa Barbara, USA


7

Longshore boats on the beach Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 26 D⁄e x 36 D⁄e in / 67.9 x 93.3 cm Provenance: Private collection, UK, bought at the English Shores exhibition in 1965 Exhibited: Wisbech, Peckover House, The Wisbech Society, English Shores: an Exhibition of Recent Oil Paintings & Watercolours in Support of The National Trust’s Enterprise Neptune, 20th July–2nd August 1965, no.23


8

Gathering storm – Suffolk coast Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 27 x 37 B⠄c in / 68.6 x 94.6 cm Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, April 2007, no.43


9

Summer afternoon, Waxham beach Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 12 x 16 in / 30.5 x 40.6 cm Frame size: 18 Dâ „e x 22 Dâ „e in / 47.6 x 57.8 cm Provenance: Laing Galleries, Toronto, Canada FP Wilson, Toronto, acquired from the above in 1972


10

Roll’s Barn, Ludham Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 10 F⁄i x 14 in / 27 x 35.6 cm Frame size: 17 B⁄e x 20 D⁄e in / 43.8 x 52.7 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co Ltd, London Private collection, UK

Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 2007, no.38, illus. in colour


11

Fishermen’s boats off the East Coast Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 26 x 36 in / 66 x 91.4 cm Frame size 35 x 44 D⠄e in / 88.9 x 113.7 cm Provenance: Lord Belstead (d.2005), The Old Rectory, Great Bealings, Suffolk Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 2007, no.26, illus. in colour


12

Yachts on the Thurne – Norfolk Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 18 x 24 in / 45.7 x 61 cm Frame size: 24 B⁄c x 30 D⁄e in / 62.9 x 78.1 cm Provenance: Private collection, UK


13

Early spring near Martham, Norfolk Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 22 x 36 in / 55.9 x 91.4 cm Frame size: 28 Dâ „e x 42 Bâ „c in / 73 x 108 cm Provenance: The Rev. JH Drury Richard Green, London, 1990 Private collection, UK Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 1990, no.40, illus. in colour Literature: James W Reid, Edward Seago: The Landscape Art, London 1991, p.39, pl.36, illus. in colour Ron Ranson, Edward Seago: The Vintage Years, Newton Abbot 1992, p.82, illus. in colour


14

Longshore boats, Norfolk Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 10 B⁄e x 14 D⁄e in / 26 x 37.5 cm Frame size: 20 x 23 B⁄c in / 50.8 x 59.7 cm Provenance: Patterson & Shipman Ltd, London Private collection, UK


15

Norfolk landscape Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 14 x 21 in / 35.6 x 53.3 cm Frame size: 23 x 29 in / 58.4 x 73.7 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co Ltd, London Private collection, UK


16

Ludham Marshes from Upper Horning Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 27 x 37 in / 68.6 x 94 cm Provenance: William Tallon, RVM (1935–2007), Steward and Page of the Backstairs in the household of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother


17

Norfolk beach Signed; titled on the stretcher Oil on canvas: 26 x 36 in / 66 x 91.4 cm Frame size: 35 Bâ „c x 43 Bâ „c in / 90.2 x 110.5 cm Provenance: Blair Laing, Toronto, 1957 Private collection, Canada Richard Green, London, 1988 Private collection, UK Literature: James W Reid, Edward Seago: The Landscape Art, London 1991, p.18, pl.2, illus. in colour


18

Norfolk marsh Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 13 D⁄e x 21 B⁄e in / 34.9 x 54 cm Frame size: 22 x 28 B⁄e in / 55.9 x 71.8 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co Ltd, London Private collection, UK

Exhibited: London, Royal Watercolour Society Galleries, London, no.4


19

Landscape near Somerton, Norfolk Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 15 x 22 in / 38.1 x 55.9 cm Frame size: 24 B⁄c x 30 B⁄c in / 62.2 x 77.5 cm Provenance: The Rt. Rev. David Bartleet (1929–2002) Richard Green, London, 1989 Private collection, UK, purchased from the above in 1989

Exhibited: London, Marlborough Galleries, Edward Seago Memorial Exhibition, 4th December 1974–3rd January 1975, no.53 London, Richard Green, Edward Seago, 1989, no.5 London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 2007, no.45, illus. in colour


20

Winter by the Thurne Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 26 Bâ „e x 36 Bâ „c in / 66.7 x 92.7 cm Provenance: Marlborough Fine Art, London Lord Belstead (d.2005), The Old Rectory, Great Bealings, Suffolk Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 2007, no.41, illus. in colour


21

Thurne Marshes - Norfolk Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 22 x 36 in / 55.9 x 91.4 cm Frame size: 30 Dâ „e x 44 Dâ „e in / 78.1 x 113.7 cm Provenance: Corporate collection, Sydney, Australia


22

Landscape near Upton, Norfolk Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 12 x 16 in / 30.5 x 40.6 cm Frame size: 18 Dâ „e x 23 in / 47.6 x 58.4 cm Provenance: Laing Galleries, Toronto, Canada Private collection, Toronto, Canada


23

By the upper Yare Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 16 x 24 in / 40.6 x 61 cm Frame size: 23 x 31 in / 58.4 x 78.7 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co Ltd, London WJ Fergusson, London

Exhibited: London, Richard Green, Edward Seago 1910-1974, 2007, no.30, illus. in colour


24

Barges at slack water Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 14 x 20 in / 35.5 x 51 cm Frame size: 20 Dâ „e x 26 Dâ „e in / 52.7 x 67.9 cm Provenance: Marlborough Fine Art, London Private collection, UK


VENICE Edward Seago first went to Venice with his patron Lord Melchett in 1933. He was captivated by the light of the city and the buildings which shimmered in the reflections from the water. Seago made several visits, exploring the lagoon and travelling further afield to depict the ochrecoloured houses of the old fishing port of Chioggia, on the mainland to the south of the Lido. Seago’s watercolours of Venice are marvels of control, economy and elegance, capturing the picturesque buildings and inky shadows of forgotten corners of the city.


25

The Grand Canal, Venice Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 27 x 37 in / 68.6 x 94 cm Provenance: Kennedy Gallery, New York Private collection, USA

This sparkling view shows the sweep of the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge, the ‘temporary’ wooden bridge built in the 1930s to replace a nineteenth century iron bridge that was too small for the modern vaporetti. On the left is the fifteenth century Palazzo Barbaro, bought by the Bostonian Daniel Curtis in the 1880s and still owned by the family. Among the visitors to Palazzo Barbaro were Robert Browning, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet and Henry James, who used it as a setting for his novel The Wings of the Dove. Catching the sunlight in the distance are the baroque curves of Santa Maria della Salute, Baldassare Longhena’s masterpiece, built in thanksgiving for the Virgin’s deliverance of Venice from the plague of 1630.


26

The Piazzetta, Venice Signed Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 26 D⁄e x 36 D⁄e in / 67.9 x 93.3 cm Provenance: Kennedy Gallery, New York Private collection, USA

This famous view shows the Doge’s Palace on the right and the façade of the Libreria Sansoviniana, begun by Jacopo Sansovino in 1537 and finished by Vincenzo Scamozzi 1588–91. The columns are dedicated to the two patron Saints of Venice: on the right, St Theodore, a fourth century Christian martyr shown with the dragon that he battled; on the left, the winged lion of St Mark. Santa Maria della Salute shimmers in the distance.


27

Gondolas by the Salute, Venice Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 14 x 21 in / 35.6 x 53.3 cm Frame size: 24 x 29 Dâ „e in / 61 x 75.6 cm Provenance: Simon Hornby Private collection, UK

Literature: Francis W Hawcroft, Edward Seago: a Review of the Years 1953–1964, London 1965, pl.44, illus. in colour


28

Corner palazzo Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 14 B⁄c x 21 B⁄e in / 36.8 x 54 cm Frame size: 24 x 29 D⁄e in / 61 x 75.6 cm Provenance: Marlborough Fine Art Ltd, London, 1972 Private collection, UK

Exhibited: London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., Edward Seago Paintings and Watercolours, November 1972, no.52


29

Santa Maria della Salute Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm Frame size: 26 Bâ „c x 36 Bâ „c in / 67.3 x 92.7 cm Provenance: The Marlborough Gallery, London, c.1978; from whom purchased by the late Mr and Mrs VD Strickland, Toronto; by descent in a private collection, Toronto


30

View from the Accademia Bridge, Venice Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 11 x 16 in / 27.9 x 40.6 cm Frame size: 16 Bâ „c x 21 in / 41.9 x 53.3 cm Provenance: P & D Colnaghi and Co. Ltd, London Private collection, UK


31

The pink house, Venice Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 15 x 11 in / 38.1 x 27.9 cm Frame size: 24 x 19 in / 61 x 48.3 cm Provenance: Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1970; from whom acquired on 7th December 1970 by a UK private collector


32

Corner palazzo, Venice Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 15 x 11 in / 38.1 x 27.9 cm Frame size: 24 x 19 in / 61 x 48.3 cm Provenance: Marlborough Fine Art, London, as Sunlight and shadow, Venice Private collection, UK


33

Morning sunlight, Chioggia Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 19 D⁄e x 29 B⁄c in / 50.2 x 74.9 cm Frame size: 26 D⁄e x 36 B⁄e in / 67.9 x 92.1 cm Provenance: Christie’s London, 6th June 1991, lot 30 Private collection, USA

Chioggia is a picturesque town on an island at the southern entrance to the Lagoon, about twenty miles from Venice. With its canals and warm ochre and pink-painted buildings, it is a quieter, miniature version of Venice, bathed in the radiant light of the Lagoon. Chioggia was conquered by Venice in 1380 and remained under the Serenissima’s sphere of influence, while largely keeping its autonomy. It was famous as a fishing port and for lace-making; both industries play a part in Goldoni’s rumbustious play, Le Baruffe Chiozzotte (1762).


HOME AND ABROAD Although deeply contented when at home in East Anglia, Seago was also an inveterate traveller, seeking new motifs and qualities of light to inspire his painting. In the 1950s he would sail his ketch-rigged boat Capricorn, equipped as a floating studio, across to France and down the Seine to Paris, exploring on the way picturesque old fishing ports such as Honfleur. In the 1960s he acquired a studio on the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia and travelled in the Mediterranean and beyond, including Hong Kong, Thailand and North Africa. Seago delighted in the intense light and sharp shadows, rich red and ochre hues, and bustling alleyways of the old towns of Morocco.


34

Winter morning, Strand-on-the-Green Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 10 B⁄c x 14 B⁄c in / 26.7 x 36.8 cm Frame size: 19 D⁄e x 23 in / 50.2 x 58.4 cm Provenance: Sir Siegmund Warburg (1902–1982) Private collection, USA Exhibited: London, Royal Watercolour Society Galleries, no.4


35

Rue Saint-Julien Le Pauvre, Paris Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 14 F⁄i x 10 F⁄i in / 37.1 x 27 cm Frame size: 23 B⁄c x 19 in / 59.7 x 48.3 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London Given by Edward Seago to Peter Seymour and by Peter Seymour to a private UK collector


36

Fishing boats, Honfleur Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 20 x 26 in / 50.8 x 66 cm Frame size: 28 D⁄e x 34 D⁄e in / 73 x 88.3 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London Private collection, Canada

Between 1951 and 1967 Edward Seago made eight major painting trips to France. He frequently sailed his yacht Capricorn across the Channel and would moor in the Basin of Honfleur before beginning his journey up the Seine to Paris. The picturesque port of Honfleur was of especial interest to Seago as the home of the ‘father of Impressionism’ Eugène Boudin, one of his artist heroes. Seago described the exhilaration of Capricorn’s maiden voyage to Honfleur: ‘My heart missed a beat with excitement. It is a wonderful feeling when one is immediately and whole-heartedly attracted by a place and the impact of that attraction strikes one all of a heap’ (With Capricorn to Paris, London 1956, p.129).


37

The Wells of Marrakech Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 22 x 36 in / 55.9 x 91.4 cm Frame size: 28 Dâ „e x 43 in / 73 x 109.2 cm Provenance: Private collection, South Africa

Edward Seago ďŹ rst visited Morocco in 1966 and again in 1967 and 1968. Based in Marrakech, in the south of the country, he was inspired by the dramatic contrast of brilliant light and dark shadows. Here Seago depicts the wells outside the monumental city walls, built in the twelfth century by Sultan Ali Ben Youssef.


38

Street corner in Essaouira, Morocco Signed; titled on the reverse Watercolour: 15 x 10 D⁄e in / 38.1 x 27.3 cm Frame size: 24 B⁄e x 19 B⁄e in / 61.6 x 48.9 cm Provenance: Private collection, UK


FLOWERS Seago painted comparatively few still lifes, but was a fine practitioner of the genre. This selection of flower paintings expresses his gift for the harmonies of colour, instinctive grace of composition and a delightful mixture of the formal and informal. He combines casually gathered bouquets of garden and wild flowers – tulips with Queen Anne’s lace, for example – with an antique vase or elegant lacquer tray. An arrangement of phlox in a simple glass container is a poetic exercise in the tonal values of green and white.


39

September flowers Signed; titled on the stretcher Oil on canvas: 24 x 20 in / 61 x 50.8 cm Frame size: 30 D⁄e x 26 D⁄e in / 78.1 x 67.9 cm Provenance: P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London Marlborough Fine Art, London E Stacey Marks Ltd, Eastbourne Private collection, UK


40

White phlox Signed; titled on the reverse Oil on board: 24 x 18 in / 61 x 45.7 cm Frame size: 30 Bâ „e x 24 Bâ „e in / 76.8 x 61.6 cm Provenance: Marlborough Fine Art, London Private collection, UK


41

Flowers in a vase Signed; titled Flower piece on the stretcher Oil on canvas: 26 x 20 in / 66 x 50.8 cm Frame size: 32 Dâ „e x 26 Dâ „e in / 83.2 x 67.9 cm Provenance: Frost & Reed, London; from whom acquired in the 1960s by an American private collector; by descent


EDWARD SEAGO Norwich 1910 – 1974 London

Born in Norwich on 31st March 1910, Edward Seago, the son of Brian and Mabel, and the younger brother of John, was inextricably linked to the counties of East Anglia by virtue of his life and ancestry. His father Brian was the Norfolk area manager for a Norwich-based coal merchant; his mother Mabel, a governess to the elder daughters of Mr Nicholas Bacon of Raveningham Hall, Norfolk. Seago lived in East Anglia for the first twenty-one years of his life, returning periodically for the fifteen years thereafter, between 1930 and 1945. In 1945 he settled in Ludham in the Norfolk Broads, where he bought the seventeenth century residence known as the Dutch House. The close ties that Seago maintained with East Anglia throughout his career played a fundamental role in shaping his art. Throughout his life, Seago was plagued by the effects of a heart condition, paroxysmal tachycardia, with which he was first diagnosed as a boy of eight. Ironically, it was during the extended periods of ‘forced leisure’ when he was rendered house-bound that Seago was able to realize his passion for painting. Seago later reflected upon these periods as being ‘spells of sheer delight’ as he was able to practice his precociously sensitive observation of nature and the countryside. Left to his own devices, he learned how to extract from his environment much of the subject matter for his art. As his poor health prevented a regular art school training, Seago was largely self-taught. However, several artists took a personal interest in his work and development. Sir Alfred Munnings, who lived in Dedham on the Essex-Suffolk border, was one, as was Bertram Priestman, an East Anglian landscape painter with whom Seago corresponded for most of his life. Priestman encouraged Seago to paint quickly, a skill he developed into a virtuoso talent, but above all, to hold Nature as the ideal, receiving inspiration from its beauty rather than to copy it directly. John Masefield, the Poet Laureate, was another with whom the artist maintained lifelong contact. Together they collaborated on several publications, including the hugely successful The Country Scene of 1937 and Tribute to Ballet of 1938, Seago providing the illustrations, Masefield the

poems. It was Masefield also who encouraged Seago to broaden his interests in all aspects of English country life as he felt the artist had an extraordinary feeling for landscape. Seago’s style took inspiration from other influences, including seventeenth century Dutch landscape painting, the East Anglian Countryside bearing many similarities to Holland. He was inspired by John Constable and Richard Parkes Bonington, by nineteenth century Norwich School artists such as John Crome, and by twentieth century painters including Arnesby Brown, Wilson Steer and Richard Sickert. Elements of the paintings of Eugène Boudin influenced his mature style, as did the work of James McNeill Whistler. Seago’s prodigious activities in the years prior to 1945 were fuelled by the eclecticism of his interests. During the 1930s, he lived a somewhat bohemian existence, travelling and working amongst circus folk, gypsies and ballet dancers whilst simultaneously mixing in aristocratic circles and accepting their generous patronage. Henry Mond, 2nd Lord Melchett, art connoisseur, patron and friend, commissioned Seago to paint several portraits whilst living at Woodfall’s, the Melchett family home. It was with Melchett that the artist first travelled in 1933 to Venice and was exposed to the art of the great Italian masters, igniting Seago’s immense attachment to this extraordinary city, which he captured in many of his most successful oil paintings and watercolours. During this time also Seago drew an income from the many portrait and equestrian paintings he undertook in the UK and abroad. His friendship with George VI’s sister Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood, proved another important association which, following the Second World War, developed into a close acquaintance with the Royal Family, particularly Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who admired and collected his paintings, and received many as gifts from the artist. Seago had met George VI during the War on expeditions as an unofficial war artist with Lieutenant-General Harold Alexander on the Italian Campaign, years vital in formulating his later style. After the Second World War, with a new stability in both his private


and professional lives, a coherent direction to Seago’s painting emerged as he channelled most of his creative talents into landscape painting. He developed numerous motifs synonymous with East Anglia: the broads, mudflats, barges, oak trees, cattle and huge, cloud-filled skies. A traditionalist, he was interested in the natural and human history of East Anglia, its villages and farms. Seago’s paintings denote an appreciation of the harmonious co-existence of man and nature, the vast and atmospheric landscapes glorifying the marvels of earth and sky, whilst man-made constructions, windmills, churches and marshland farmhouses, mark a human presence. Acutely aware of the dereliction facing many of these buildings, these paintings were a tribute to their enduring charm and Seago’s own yearning for the return to a simpler way of life. Seago’s language of motifs was further developed during the 1950s and 60s on his numerous travels, at first aboard his ketch Endeavour, then his yacht Capricorn, to northern France and Holland, and later by air to more remote destinations, which he called ‘far off painting grounds’. In 1956, an invitation from His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh took Seago on board the Royal Yacht Britannia on a world tour encompassing the Antarctic, the south Atlantic and West Africa, to record the landscapes of these unfamiliar places. At each destination Seago found inspiration in its ‘otherness’, in the unusual light, the atmospheric effects and new environments: the sheer blue cliffs of the Antarctic glaciers, the stark monumental peaks of South Georgia, the colourful crowds of the Gambia. Seago adapted his artistic techniques to develop a new visual language to express this in his painting, continually modifying his palette, balancing light and dark and reconciling a multiplicity of shapes. However, it was to his beloved East Anglia that Seago continually returned. He wrote ‘Perhaps one has to be born and bred there for it to really get into one’s blood. But it has a powerful hold on me, and whenever I go, I feel a longing to return there’. Throughout his life Seago remained susceptible to nature’s manifold manifestations. He was intensely interested in the transformation of the landscape by the ‘in-between’ stages, sunrise, early morning, late afternoon, evening and dusk, by rain, mist, fog and snow, and by the seasons. He was fascinated by the sky, studying the ephemeral

changes of its moods and the extremes of light created by multi-faceted cloud formations. Seago painted the Broads with an endless range of atmospheric effects, and an eclecticism of subject matter that he found in this world of water and sky. Commercially, the most important developments for the artist occurred in the Post-War years, when he began important relationships in 1945 with P&D Colnaghi Galleries in London and in 1950 with the Laing Galleries, Toronto. Both galleries held regular successful exhibitions, as did the Kennedy Galleries in New York, which held five important exhibitions between 1952 and 1961, and Everard Read in Johannesburg, where his work was exhibited from 1968. The artist developed a strong and dedicated following throughout his career; the popularity of his paintings was the stuff of legend. Eager purchasers would queue from 6.30am along Old Bond Street in anticipation of having the first pick of the fifty or so hitherto unseen paintings on offer at Colnaghi. The demand gained momentum until the gallery was forced to issue numbered catalogues in order of each person’s arrival. Seago’s paintings were also exhibited at the Royal Academy, other British exhibiting societies and the Paris Salon. He was elected RBA in 1946, ARWS in 1957 and RWS in 1959. Seago was the epitome of artist as existentialist, refusing to conform to conventional social mores. His attitudes to life were also reflected in his art, choosing to ignore the dictates of contemporary critical wisdom about what was innovative and avant-garde in art, preferring instead to follow his own convictions and paint only what was important to him. Painting was his raison d’être. This all came to an end however whilst on a painting trip to Sardinia, when Edward Seago succumbed to a brain tumour. He died in London on 19th January 1974.


EXHIBITIONS

1929 1933 1934 1936 1937

Arlington Gallery, London Sporting Gallery, London Sporting Gallery, London Alpine Club Gallery, London Alpine Club Gallery, London Sporting Gallery, London 1938 Carstairs Gallery, New York 1939 Medici Gallery, London 1944 Castle Museum, Norwich 1945 P&D Colnaghi, London 1946 Castle Museum, Norwich (Italian War Pictures) City art Gallery, Bristol (Italian War Pictures) 1947–67 P&D Colnaghi, London (Exhibition held in the autumn of each year) 1948 Annan Gallery, Glasgow 1950 The Assembly House, Norwich Laing Gallery, Toronto 1952 Kennedy Gallery, New York Watson Gallery, Montreal 1953 Oslo/Bergen, Norway 1954 Loan exhibition during King’s Lynn festival Kennedy Gallery, New York Cowie Gallery, Los Angeles Laing Gallery, Toronto 1956 Kennedy Gallery, New York 1957 St. James’s Palace, London Laing Gallery, Toronto

1958 1959 1960 1961 1962

1963 1964 1968 1968 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974

1975 1976 1978 1979 1980 1981

1982

Galerie Breughel, Brussels Kennedy Gallery, New York Laing Gallery, Toronto Galerie Breughel, Brussels Kennedy Gallery, New York Cowie Gallery, Los Angeles Loan Exhibition at the Castle Museum, Norwich Pieter Wenning Gallery, Johannesburg Russell Button Gallery, Chicago Marlborough Fine Art, London Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco Marlborough Fine Art, London Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo Pieter Wenning Gallery, Johannesburg Marlborough Fine Art, London Marlborough-Galerie, Zurich Fermoy Art Gallery, King’s Lynn Marlborough Fine Art, London (Memorial Exhibition) Pieter Wenning Gallery, Johannesburg Marlborough Fine Art, London Marlborough Fine Art, London Marlborough Cervo Tennis Club, Porto Cervo, Sardinia Marlborough Fine Art, London Marlborough Fine Art, Mandarin Hotel, Hong Kong Richard Green Gallery, London Marlborough Fine Art, London

1985

1986 1987 1989

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1996 1999 2001 2004 2005 2006 2007 2007 2010

Marlborough Fine Art, London Thomas Gibson Fine Art Ltd, London Coe Kerr Gallery, New York Richard Green, London Spink and Son Ltd., London Richard Green, London Thomas Gibson Fine Art Ltd, London Spink and Son Ltd., London Richard Green, London Richard Green, London Thomas Gibson Fine Art Ltd, London Richard Green, London John Noott Galleries, Broadway Richard Green, London Richard Green, London Richard Green, London Richard Green, London Fine Art Society, London Richard Green, London Portland Gallery, London Richard Green, London Colnaghi, London Portland Gallery, London Richard Green, London Richard Green, London


BIBLIOGR APHY

Books by Edward Seago

Books on Edward Seago

Circus Company, with an introduction by John Masefield, Putnam, 1933 Sons of Sawdust, Putnam, 1934 Caravan, Collins, 1937 The Country Scene, with poems by John Masefield, Collins, 1937 Tribute to Ballet, with poems by John Masefield, Collins, 1938 A Generation Risen, with poems by John Masefield, Collins, 1942 Peace in War, Collins, 1943 High Endeavour, Collins, 1944 With the Allied Armies in Italy, Collins, 1945 A Canvas to Cover, Collins, 1947 Tideline, Collins, 1948 With Capricorn to Paris, Collins, 1956 ‘A Place to Paint’, The East Anglian Book, East Anglian Magazine, Ipswich, 1971 Introduction to The Paintings of Field-Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis, Collins, 1973

Horace Shipp, Edward Seago: Painter in the English Tradition, Collins, 1952 Francis W Hawcroft, Edward Seago: A Review of the Years 1953-1964, Collins, 1965 Jean Goodman, Edward Seago: The Other Side of the Canvas, Collins, 1978 Ron Ranson, Edward Seago, David & Charles, 1987 James Reid, Edward Seago, The Landscape Artist, Sotheby Publications, 1991 Ron Ranson, Edward Seago, the Vintage Years, David & Charles, 1992 John Gregory, Days with Ted, Jarog Publishing Associates, 1995

Edward Seago’s frames All the paintings in this catalogue have been framed in a ‘shadow box’ design in gilt and canvas, unique to Seago. These frames have been used on his works from his earliest Post-War exhibitions at Colnaghi and Marlborough. Published by Richard Green for Edward Seago, opening 13th June 2012. © 2012 All rights reserved. Catalogue by Susan Morris. Photography by Sophie Drury. Graphic Design by Chris Rees. Printed in England by Hampton Printing (Bristol) Ltd. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated (without the publisher’s prior consent), in any form of binding or other cover than in which it is published, and without similar condition being imposed on another purchaser. All material contained in this catalogue is subject to the new laws of copyright, December 1989. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced or communicated to the public by any means without the express permission of Richard Green and where relevant any other rights owners, save to the extent expressly permitted by law. “Richard Green” (“Mark”) is a registered trade mark of Richard Green Old Master Paintings Ltd (“Proprietor”) in the EU, the USA and other countries. No use of the Mark without the prior written consent of the Proprietor is permitted.


FORTHCOMING EVENTS

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Sir Alfred Munnings 14th November 147 New Bond Street, London W1S 2TS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Seago Royal Painter essay: Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in Sandringham Park, 1943. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images. St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, 1952. Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Edward Seago, c.1950. Gordon Anthony/Hulton Archive/Getty Images. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh painting, 19th June 1969. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

East Anglia opener: Weeding in Deep-go Dyke, Hickling Broad, Norfolk, c.1935. Mary Evans/Ros Fraser Collection. Venice opener: View of the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge. Roger Viollet Collection/ Getty Images. Home and Abroad opener: Honfleur harbour. Archive Photos/Getty Images. Flowers opener: Window in a country house. Stanislav Mikhalev/Getty Images.


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R. Green -SEAGO-rgb-optimized-2  

EDWARD SEAGONorwich 1910 – 1974 LondonBorn in Norwich on 31st March 1910, Edward Seago, the son of Brian andMabel, and the younger brother o...