8 November 1996
THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE VIVIAN STOGDALE
Benjamin Williams Leader, R.A. (1831-1923)
An English Hayfield
signed and dated 'B.W. LEADER. 1879.' (lower left) and signed and inscribed 'An English Hayfield. B.W. Leader' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
36 x 54 in. (91.5 x 137.2 cm.)
Sold by the artist to his London dealer, Thomas Wallis, March 1879 (£300)
Polak, London, by 1958
Anon. sale; Sotheby's, 25 May 1960, lot 115 (260 gns. to James).
Lady Maryoth James; Christie's, 6 March 1970, lot 116 (1575 gns. to Stogdale)
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The artist's manuscript diary, 1879.
Art Journal, 1879, p. 126.
Art Annual, 1901, p. 25 (illustrated, p. 21).
London, Royal Academy, 1879, no. 50.
This picture is one of a number of hayfield scenes painted in the environs of Whittington, the village in Worcestershire where Leader lived between 1862 and 1889. The painting is of particular interest as according to the artist's diary the main figures were modelled by his wife Mary Eastlake Leader, their young son Benjamin Eastlake (Benjy), and their baby daughter Ethel.
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help in preparing this and the following entry. The pictures will be included in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's works, and in B.W. Leader: His Life and Paintings, to be published by the Antique Collector's Club.
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