Art Collections Online

Girl in a Field

CLAUSEN, George (1852 - 1944)

Girl in a Field

Date: 1897

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 41.2 x 31.1 cm

Acquired: 1940; Gift; Sir William Goscombe John

Accession Number: NMW A 175


Brian Armstrong
21 January 2015, 00:03
I am just reminding myself currently of the work of the 'Glasgow Boys'. The debt in the first place to Jules Bastien-Lepage, born Damvilliers with such wonderful paintings as Pauvre Fauvette 1882 (Kelvingrove Art Gallery) and Pas Meche 1881 (National Gallery of Scotland) and soon after James Guthries' 'A Hind's Daughter' 1883 (National Gallery of Scotland) and "Schoolmates' 1884-5, is unmistakable. Clausen was very much a supporter of the Glascow Boys and would have been by this time very much aware of the work of Guthrie and the other leading members of the group such as E.A.Walton, George Henry, Arthur Melville, John Lavery and William Kennedy. He was also very much in tune with the latest developments in French Art.

This delightful image is perhaps painted a little more freely and with more of an impressionist technique than the naturalism of Lepage and Guthrie, but the subject and the placement of the solitary figure towards the front of the picture plane, are certainly some of the features of the Naturalism which evolved from the style of the Hague School, Anton Mauve, Puvis de Chavanne and Joseph Israels (Realism without the socio- political comment of the Barbizon School, especially Millet and Leon L'Hermitte) and the influence of the Northern French painters such as Lepage and Jules Breton.

The use of the flat square-ended brush referred to by the previous contributor was indeed common practice amongst the Glasgow Boys as well and indeed one of the techniques, which helps to make their work so recognisable.
Dave Rayner
9 September 2009, 09:55
This is a picture developed from the 1891 "Idleness", featuring Rose Grimsdale of Cookham Village. Clausen must have kept the sketches for that painting to use later; the technique used here (using a flat, square-ended brush in a loose, Impressionist way)is very different from that used in "Idleness". The same pose and setting also appear in "Noon in the Hayfield" (1897), produced long after Clausen had moved away from the Cookham area.
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