Thomas Hennell

The Tree

c.1938–40

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 318 x 483 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1940
Reference
N05412

Display caption

The author HJ Massingham once remarked 'there is a touch of the supernatural about the waving and aspiring upper branches of Hennell’s trees’. This ancient specimen may have fallen through natural causes, but it here communicates Hennell’s respect for an organic order he felt to be disregarded and threatened by the urban civilisation nearby.

Gallery label, May 2003

Catalogue entry

N05412 THE TREE c. 1938–40
 
Inscr. ‘T. Hennell’ b.r.
Watercolour, 12 1/2×19 (32×48).
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1940.

According to Miss Hennell, the artist's sister, the tree was probably drawn at West Yoke, Ash. Ash village is next to Ridley and Hennell's father was Rector of both parishes. Miss Kendon believes the date to be 1938–40. See N05287.

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