Sir George Clausen

The Girl at the Gate

1889

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1714 x 1384 mm
frame: 2200 x 1870 x 215 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1890
Reference
N01612

Display caption

Clausen painted this picture at the village of Cookham Dean in Berkshire, where he lived. Mary Baldwin modelled for the woman at the gate. She was from the village and worked as the Clausen family’s nanny. Clausen was one of the ‘rural naturalists’, a young generation of predominantly French-trained painters who painted realistic scenes of everyday country life, in the late 19th century. Like others in this group Clausen was greatly influenced by the French painter Jules Bastien-Lepage, who painted in a similar style.

Gallery label, November 2016

Catalogue entry

N01612 THE GIRL AT THE GATE 1889
 
Inscr. ‘G. Clausen 1889’ b.r.
Canvas, 67 1/2×54 1/2 (171·5×138·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1890.
Exh: Grosvenor Gallery, summer 1890 (51).
Lit: Claude Phillips, ‘The Summer Exhibitions at Home and Abroad’ in Art Journal, 1890, pp.170–1, 293, repr. p.167; D[yneley] H[ussey], George Clausen, 1923, pp.16, 22; J. B. Manson, The Tate Gallery, 1929, p.124, repr. pl.19 (in colour).
Repr: Tate Gallery Illustrations, 1928, pl.68.

Painted in 1889 at Cookham Dean, Berkshire, where the artist was then living at Grove House. The model was Miss Mary Baldwin, aged about fifteen or sixteen, a nursemaid to the Clausen family. She died in 1958. The cottage was near the artist's home and the old couple in the background lived in two cottages opposite. (Letters from Dr R.J. Clausen, 20 March 1954, and Miss Mary Baldwin, 22 March 1954.) The same model appears in ‘The Stone Pickers’ of 1887. In a letter to the Gallery (23 February 1935) the artist wrote of ‘The Girl at the Gate’ that it ‘is not one which I should choose to represent my work now’, and no work earlier than 1904 is reproduced in Hussey's monograph.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

Tate Etc.

MicroTate 12

MicroTate: Camila Batmanghelidjh, Josh Lacey, Hattie Ellis and Thomas Scheibitz on works in Tate collection, Tate Etc. issue 12

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