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Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown, R.A. (1866-1955)
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Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown, R.A. (1866-1955)

The Cross Roads

Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown, R.A. (1866-1955)
The Cross Roads
signed 'Arnesby Brown.' (lower left) and further signed 'Arnesby Brown' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
24 7/8 x 30 1/8 in. (63.2 x 76.5 cm.)
W. Baxter, by whom purchased at the Royal Academy, 1926.
London, Royal Academy, 1926, no.47.
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Lot Essay

The Cross Roads depicts a junction at Hadiscoe on the Reedham to Beccles road. The composition is punctuated by St Mary's Church which sits on an area of higher ground. The Church is seen in many of Arnesby Brown's Haddiscoe landscapes and with it's distinctive Saxon round tower is a landmark for miles around.

There is a preparity drawing for The Cross Roads in Norwich Castle Museum. This study offers a fascinating insight into the artist's technique and shows the care and precision that has been taken in mapping out what appear to be spontaneous flourishes in the finished painting.

The picture is sold with a collection of autographed letters from the artist to Mr W. Baxter, the picture's first owner who lived in New Zealand. The letters relate to Mr Baxters purchase of the picture prior to the Royal Academy exhibition in 1926 and includes a receipt for £250. Arnesby Brown writes encouragingly about the praise that The Cross Roads has received and includes a review (not included) from The Times. He goes on to say that 'I do not think I have received so many congratulations on my work as I have this year'.

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