Philip Wilson Steer

Painswick Beacon


Not on display

Philip Wilson Steer 1860–1942
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 610 × 914 mm
frame: 782 × 1072 × 97 mm
Purchased 1924

Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘P W Steer 1915’ b.l.
Canvas, 24×36 (61×91·5).
Purchased from the Goupil Gallery (Clarke Fund) 1924.
Exh: N.E.A.C., winter 1915 (113); Goupil Gallery, March–April 1924 (53); Tate Gallery, April–July 1929 (185); Birkenhead, 1951 (35).
Lit: MacColl in Artwork, No.17, 1929, p.16; MacColl, 1945, pp.88, 109, 216.
Repr: Apollo, IV, 1926, facing p.40 (in colour).

MacColl quotes (1945, p.88) from a letter written to him in September 1943 by Charles M. Gere, one of Steer's early painting companions, who relates how he helped Steer to find accommodation in Painswick: ‘I found him quarters at a small stone house standing on the left of the Cheltenham road just beyond the “Adam and Eve” Inn. It was then the highest house in that region close to the upper slopes of Painswick Beacon, which is where he wished to paint. He liked the hill with its quarries and pine woods and the distant prospect over the Severn Vale to the Malverns, Dean Forest and the Welsh Hills, and he worked there very happily but hadn't enough light to paint indoors, so I helped him to get a room in one of the iron sheds of the quarries. He got permission to put in an extra window there, which made the place into a possible studio, with subjects at its door. There he painted the series of his Painswick oils.’ The artist told MacColl that he had completely reworked the whole painting afterwards in his studio.

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

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