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The Lancashire painter James Charles was briefly at art school in Paris in the 1870s, where he admired the technique of the French Realist artists who recorded agricultural life by painting landscapes out of doors. Charles painted in the southern counties of England, using a direct and unaffected style. He was not well known in London, but had an important patron in Bradford, John Maddocks, and he exhibited in Paris during the 1880s. This landscape was probably made towards the end of his career, when he was living in Chichester. In this last group of paintings he used a dry impasto and a warm brown tonality.

September 2004