Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mary Fedden

A fine watercolour by Mary Fedden will be sold in auction in Berkshire, U.K., on October 23.

Man on a beach Watercolour. Signed and dated 1989 lower right, inscribed "Felicity & Harry with love" lower left. 13.5cm x 19cm. The Felicitly and Harry to whom this is dedicated are Sir Henry (Harry) Fisher (1918-2005) President of Wolfson College, Oxford, and Judge and his wife Felicity (Sutton) (1922-2007). See lot 181 for a portrait of Felicity by Augustus John. A variant of this watercolour was sold at Sotheby’s Olympia, lot 160, 7th September 2006.

Mary Fedden was born in 1915, she graduated from the Slade School of Art in 1936 after which she returned to Bristol where she taught and painted until the outbreak of World War Two. From 1946 she developed her style of still lives and flower paintings which were reminiscent of Matisse and Braque. About her husband Julian Trevelyan:

'He really changed the direction of my painting'

In 1956 she was a teacher at the Royal College of Art , after 1964 when she took up a ten year post at the Yehudi Menuhin School for gifted musicians.

' I really float from influence to influence…. I found the early Ben Nicholsons fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden.' 1 ('The Artist' magazine, 1995)

Mary Fedden was President of the Royal West of England Academy from 1984 to 1988 and was elected a Royal Academician in the Senior Order in 1992. Working exclusively in watercolour and collage her still lives are usually placed in front of a landscape. She loves the rough texture of her favourite Indian papers which she works on in their unstretched state .

Another splendid watercolour: "Untitled"


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