Offered by: Mayfair Gallery
39 South Audley Street London W1K 2PP , England Call Seller 44.207.491.3435


Antique still life of flowers by W. J. Wainwright

$ 43,750
  • Description
    Antique still life of flowers by W. J. Wainwright

    English, Late 19th Century

    Canvas: Height 127cm, width 101cm

    Frame: Height 144cm, width 120cm, depth 7cm

    This beautiful still life in oils depicts an overflowing vase of flowers against a classicised backdrop. Brimming with bright colours, the work is an eye-catching display of immense painterly skill.

    As the clear primary subject, the copiously filled vase takes up the majority of the picture plane. The vase is filled with a wide array of summer flowers: fuchsias, poppies, roses, delphiniums, crown imperials, and other blooms crowd together in a riot of colour, and the pastel shades of the petals are mediated by dark green leaves poking through. The flowers are rendered with textural verisimilitude, replicating soft delicate petals against veined leaves, highlighting the skill of the artist. The sense of abundance is heightened by the fallen petals on the marble ledge: it is as if the flowers are overtaking the scene before us, almost coming outside of the canvas.

    Alongside the flowers, the painting is filled with other details. The natural theme is heightened by hovering butterflies and a crawling snail. In addition, a miniature bird nest sits to the right of the vase (a popular theme in Victorian still lifes), filled with three speckled eggs. A sense of classicism also pervades: the vase itself is adorned with a relief decoration of two classically dressed women accompanied by winged putti. In the left background, a sculptural figural group stands, whilst the marble ledge and terrace utilise classical architectural forms.

    Housed in a carved giltwood frame, the painting is signed 'J Wainwright' in the lower left corner. Whilst painter William John Wainwright (1855-1931) spent most of his artistic life in Birmingham and Newlyn, he studied in Antwerp between 1880 and 1884, and the large-scale Dutch floral still lifes that characterise 17th and 18th century Dutch painting likely inspired his own work.

    A similar smaller painting by Wainwright sold at Christie's, London, 30 November 2001, lot 94 (£21,150).

    This truly spectacular still life would be sure to light up both contemporary and traditional interiors, bringing the beauty of the natural world into a modern home.

    Artist/Maker: William John Wainwright

    Materials: Oil on canvas, giltwood

    Ref: 17552

  • More Information
    Documentation: Documented elsewhere (similar item)
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: Oil on canvas, giltwood
    Condition: Good.
    Styles / Movements: Other
    Dealer Reference #: 17552
    Incollect Reference #: 702268
  • Dimensions
    W. 47.24 in; H. 56.69 in; D. 2.76 in;
    W. 120 cm; H. 144 cm; D. 7 cm;
Message from Seller:

Mayfair Gallery is a leading gallery in the field of art and antiques, holding a large collection of unique pieces for sale. The breadth of the gallery’s collection is wide, and includes items from a range of periods, styles and geographical origins, as well as works by famous artists and craftsmen. The main focus of the gallery’s collection is, however, on items produced during the 19th and early 20th century.

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