ADRIAN SCOTT STOKES, R.A., V.P.R.W.S., N.E.A.C. (1854-1935)
ADRIAN SCOTT STOKES, R.A., V.P.R.W.S., N.E.A.C. (1854-1935)
ADRIAN SCOTT STOKES, R.A., V.P.R.W.S., N.E.A.C. (1854-1935)
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ADRIAN SCOTT STOKES, R.A., V.P.R.W.S., N.E.A.C. (1854-1935)

Winter Morning in the Riviera, at the Well

Details
ADRIAN SCOTT STOKES, R.A., V.P.R.W.S., N.E.A.C. (1854-1935)
Winter Morning in the Riviera, at the Well
signed and dated 'Adrian Stokes 1882.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
14 ¾ x 24 ¼ in. (37.5 x 61.6 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 27 September 1974, lot 228, as 'A Tuscan landscape with a woman carrying a water jug'.
with Howes Gallery, Brighton, 1974, where purchased for the present collection.
Exhibited
London, The Grosvenor Gallery, Summer Exhibition, 1882, no. 211.

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Lot Essay


Two important paintings resulted from Adrian Stokes’s visit in 1882 to the South of France: the first, A Winter Afternoon in Provence, was over three times the size of the current work, ‘painted entirely from nature in a winter when there were fifty-two consecutive sunny afternoons – and I believe I worked on every one of them’. (Landscape Painting, London, 1925, p. 132) Bought as soon as it was on display at the Royal Academy the following summer it entered the collection of the industrialist Henry Pochin MP and his suffrage campaigner wife, Agnes, who had recently bought the Bodnant Estate in North Wales. No records survive of the early ownership of this painting, but both illustrate his maxim that ‘good landscape painting is a great and serious art’, (ibid, p.130) to be completed all in situ, and his reputation for hard work means it is not inconceivable that this work was worked upon on consecutive mornings.
A mark of its modernity is that Stokes has chosen as the central motif of the painting, a foil to the vertical beams of the balancing well, what at first glance seems an unprepossessing structure: a low, grass-roofed animal shelter. The grey in profile on the right making its way to a smaller agricultural structure is the same horse that appears in the larger painting in which two horses are pulling a small stagecoach over a bridge near St Raphael, in the Var. It is difficult to pinpoint the location of the current painting but the view is towards the north where the snow-covered foothills of the Alps give a clue to the temperature, while the long shadow of the girl approaching the well pinpoints mid-morning. The winter sun behind her, above us the viewer, anticipates devices of the plein air movement, of which Adrian remained a true exponent throughout his career.
The girl’s costume with a wide brimmed hat is slightly more ornamental than the average farm worker’s while the green glazed jar she carries is typical of Provencal stoneware pots. Handles on both the sides and the top made for easier lowering into wells which were common between Marseilles and Genoa.
We are grateful to Magdalen Evans for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry. For further information on this lot please visit the lot page on www.christies.com.

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