Charles Conder



Not on display

Charles Conder 1868–1909
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 229 × 305 mm
frame: 381 × 463 × 75 mm
Presented by Mrs Jessop in memory of W.H. Jessop 1928

Display caption

Conder stayed at Swanage in Dorset with his younger friend Augustus John in the early summer of 1900. Both artists were working on large, decorative paintings, but Conder also made a series of oil sketches of the coast. This one is of the Swanage Coastguard Station, and a photograph from the time shows that it is portrayed quite accurately, even to the mast and flags at the top right. These artists were used to living in good company in London and Paris, and their working holiday in Swanage was an escape to sober living and hard work.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

N04407 SWANAGE c. 1901
Inscr. ‘Conder’ b.l.
Canvas, 9×12 (23×30·5).
Presented by Mrs Jessop in memory of W. H. Jessop 1928.
Coll: Dr W. H. Jessop, who bought this painting and Nos.4411 and 4412, all three as ‘Swanage’, when before 1910, he lent one of them to the Whitechapel exhibition, Twenty Years of British Art.
Exh: (?) Twenty Years of British Art 1890–1910, Whitechapel Art Gallery, May–June 1910 (263); (?) C.A.S., Loan Exhibition, Manchester, winter 1911 (220); (?) C.A.S., Loan Collection of Modern Paintings, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, October 1912 (64); C.A.S., First Public Exhibition in London, Goupil Gallery, April 1913 (52); N.E.A.C. Retrospective Exhibition, January–February 1925 (68), and Manchester, April–May 1925 (172); Tate Gallery, July–September 1927 (95).
Lit: W. G. Constable, ‘The New English Art Club’ in Burlington Magazine, XLVI, 1925, p.57, repr. facing p.58; Rothenstein, 1938, pp.210, 259.
Repr: National Gallery, Millbank [Tate Gallery], Review of the Acquisitions, 1927–29, 1930, p.33.

This and the following two paintings of Swanage were probably done in 1901, when Conder spent some time painting there in the company of Augustus John. Not since his early days in France had Conder worked so consistently out of doors, making a careful study of nature and producing paintings in a more robust style than hitherto. He painted at least nine views of Swanage and exhibited them under the same title. What appears to have been the first of these to be exhibited was shown at the Galerie Moret, 15 rue Royale, Paris, 1901 (6), as ‘La Plage à Swanage’. At the Dutch Gallery, November–December 1903, and at the International Society, 1904, the artist also showed pictures entitled ‘Swanage’, and seven Swanage subjects were included in the Tate Gallery retrospective exhibition of 1927.

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

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