Charles Ginner

Flask Walk, Hampstead, on Coronation Day

1937

Artist
Charles Ginner 1878–1952
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 610 x 508 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1941
Reference
N05276

Not on display

Catalogue entry

Entry

The view is from the first-floor windows of Ginner’s house at 61 Hampstead High Street. It shows the decorations put up in the street opposite, Flask Walk, for the coronation of George VI on 12 May 1937. Ginner had moved to this house in 1919, occupying the four floors above the shop, but he painted the view most frequently just before he left in 1938, depicting the view on Guy Fawkes Day and under snow, both also in 1937.1 These views differ very slightly, perhaps because the room had three windows, but they also differ in focus. In the snow painting, Flask Walk is seen much closer, and it may be that Ginner used some kind of telescope.
The street signs are all partly cut off; they include on the left a notice for Hampstead Station Underground, Wills’s Gold Flake Cigarettes and Flask Pharmacy, and on the right the Flask Tavern, a butcher and Greens, an electrical shop. The Salvation Army hall is on the right. In the centre is a banner with an enlarged photograph of George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The preparatory drawing for this painting was given to the Tate Gallery in 1968 (Tate T01099, fig.1). The design is so detailed as to suggest that Ginner used some optical device. From observation and photographs of the street, it does not seem likely that he could have seen all that he includes from a single viewpoint.
Ginner drew and painted Flask Walk on numerous occasions from his windows, in such works as Flask Walk – Night 1922 (Cooper Gallery, Barnsley),2 Flask Walk, Rain c.1924 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford),3 Flask Walk 1928 (Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester),4 Flask Walk, Hampstead, under Snow c.1930,5 Flask Walk, Skyline 1934 (Aberdeen Art Gallery),6 Flask Walk, Winter 1937 (private collection)7 and Flask Walk, Fifth November 1936 (private collection).8 A version was praised by the art critic Frank Rutter at a New English Art Club exhibition in 1923, in terms that apply to the Tate’s 1937 painting:

David Fraser Jenkins
May 2005

Revised by Helena Bonett
February 2011

Notes

1
Both reproduced in Benjamin Fairfax Hall, Paintings and Drawings by Harold Gilman and Charles Ginner in the Collection of Edward Le Bas, London 1965, as Flask Walk, November 5, pl.29 and Flask Walk, Winter, pl.30.
2
Watercolour, ink and gouache. Reproduced in Michael Lee, ‘Charles Ginner: Two Decades portraying Flask Walk’, in Michael Lee, Marianne Colloms and Ellen Emerson (eds.), Flask Walk N.W.3, London 2006, p.37.
3
Pen and ink and watercolour. Reproduced ibid., p.35. This version shows the window with curtain and a table and window ledge in the foreground with various objects.
4
Pencil and coloured chalk. Reproduced ibid., p.30.
5
Oil paint on canvas, 66 x 41 cm. Reproduced as in the collection of Edward Le Bas in John Rothenstein, Modern English Painters: Sickert to Smith, London 1952, pl.24, in between pp.176–7.
6
Oil paint on canvas. Reproduced at Aberdeen Art Gallery, http://www.aagm.co.uk/thecollections/objects/object/Flask-Walk--Skyline?l, accessed 4 February 2011.
7
Reproduced in Lee 2006, p.39.
8
Reproduced ibid., p.28.
9
Sunday Times, 3 June 1923.
10
‘Charles Ginner. Memorial Exhibition at the Tate’, Times, 30 January 1954, p.8, reproduced p.12.
11
Ibid.
12
Malcolm Easton, ‘Charles Ginner: Viewing and Finding’, Apollo, vol.91, no.97, March 1970, p.208.
13
Tate Archive TGA 9319/2, p.174.

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