T03624 The Sun Pier, Chatham c. 1897
Oil on panel 9 5/8 × 10 3/4 (246 × 272)
Inscribed ‘P Maitland’ b.l.
Presented anonymously in memory of Terence Rattigan 1983
Prov: The artist's family; ...; Leicester Galleries; Mrs Harold Bompas 1928; sold Modern British Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture, Christie's, 18 July 1969 (59, as ‘Off Sheerness’) bt the donor 1969
Exh: Exhibition of Paintings by the Late Paul Fordyce Maitland, The Chelsea Association, July 1909 (84, as ‘Near Southend’); Exhibition of Paintings by the Late Paul Fordyce Maitland, Baillie Gallery, January 1910 (6, as ‘Near Southend’); Watercolours by Owen Merton, Paintings of London by Paul Maitland, Paintings by J.D. Innes, Leicester Galleries, May 1928 (83, as ‘Off Sheerness’)
T03624 shows the Sun Pier at Chatham, Kent to the right of the painting, with a flour mill and its high chimney, and a timber wharf, to the left. The chimney of the flour mill has now been reduced in height. The Sun Pier, designed for sunbathing, was built in 1884, blown down in 1885 and rebuilt in 1886. It was extended in 1902, and since Maitland's painting does not include these extensions, it must have been painted between 1886 and 1902. The picture is likely to have been painted from a barge moored in the middle of the river Medway, for the use of bathers.
After his student days at the Royal College of Art, Maitland turned to Theodore Roussel for tuition. Roussel had a studio home in Chelsea but also a country house near Rochester, and it could well be a painting trip in Kent with Roussel that brought Maitland to Chatham.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986