The Surrey village of West Horsley is not immediately associated with the artist Helen Allingham but it was there she painted in 1907. Of her six known West Horsley subjects, each one featured a cottage with a child by the gate- a composition so typical of her later work. However, 'Cottage near West Horsley' is unusual in that there are no figures. Instead, the addition of the cat was probably an incident Allingham witnessed whilst painting, and which adds a delightful touch to this tranquil scene.
By 1907, Helen Allingham was approaching her 60th birthday and still painting every day. Although her two sons were established in their chosen careers, she was deeply concerned about her daughter, Eva Margaret, whose mental health required long-term professional treatment. It was solely through the sale of her watercolours that Helen Allingham was able to ensure that her daughter's medical fees were covered for the rest of her life.
We are grateful to Annabel Watts for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.