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Maxwell Ashby Armfield (1882-1972)
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Maxwell Ashby Armfield (1882-1972)

The Window Seat, An Evening at Home (Portrait of the artist's wife)

Details
Maxwell Ashby Armfield (1882-1972)
The Window Seat, An Evening at Home (Portrait of the artist's wife)
signed with monogram, dated and inscribed ''11 CONSTANCE/SMEDLEY ARMFIELD' (lower left)
tempera on canvas, laid down on board and varnished
18 x 14 in. (45.6 x 35.5 cm.)
Literature
Armfield's notebook, vol.1, June 1911, op.18.
Exhibited
Painswick, 1911.
London, The New English Art Club, 1912.
London, Carfax Gallery, 1912.
Hull, 1913.
Brighton, 1913.
New York, Arlington Gallery, 1918.
London, Walkers Galleries, 1922.
Birmingham, Birmingham Art Gallery; Southampton, Southampton Art Gallery and London, the Fine Art Society Maxwell Armfield 1881-1972, no. 21. .
Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Selections from the Collection of Mimi and Sanford Feld, 1981, no.32.
Colorado, Aspen Centre for the Visual Arts, Selections from the Collection of Mimi and Sanford Feld, 1981, no.32.
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.

Lot Essay

Armfield entered the Birmingham School of Art in 1899, where he learnt the tempera technique he was to favour for the rest of his life. He subsequently moved to Paris to further his studies and sold a picture to the Musée du Luxembourg in 1904. On his return to England he established himself as an expert in the Arts and Crafts field and his symbolic images inspired a following; he held many one-man exhibitions.

The present picture enjoys a wide exhibition history and is a tender portrait of his wife, the writer Constance Smedley, executed in the third year of their marriage (1911). They collaborated on many avant-garde literary and theatrical projects and spent seven years working together in America. This picture demonstrates the flat coloured surface and linear graphic style that is characteristic of Armfield's medium and lends his work its charming decorative quality.
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