Catalogue entry

Inscr. ‘Cecil Lawson 1880’ b.r.
Canvas, 66 1/2×120 1/2 (169×306).
Presented by Mrs Cecil Lawson to the National Gallery in fulfilment of her husband's wishes 1883; transferred 1897.
Exh: Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, 1880 (20); Grosvenor Gallery, winter 1882–3 (236).
Lit: Richard and Samuel Redgrave, A Century of British Painters, 2nd ed., 1890 (Phaidon ed., 1947, p.392); Heseltine Owen, ‘In Memoriam: Cecil Gordon Lawson’ in Magazine of Art, 1894, pp.69–70; Anon., ‘Cecil Lawson's “Harvest Moon”’ in Art Journal, 1909, p.102, repr.
Repr: The Nation's Pictures, 1901, I, p.42 (in colour); Tate Gallery Illustrations, 1928, pl.74.

Painted at Blackdown, near Haselmere, Surrey. Heseltine Owen visited the spot one night with Lawson: ‘By the time we reached Blackdown, close on midnight, the moon was high in the heavens. I remember Lawson enlarging on the colour there was always in a landscape in such moonlight. He said that no great painter had yet fully grasped this truth, but that he intended to show it.’ Lawson painted out an owl in the foreground as the result of the critics' disapproval.

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