John Young-Hunter

My Lady’s Garden


John Young-Hunter 1874–1955
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1067 × 1822 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1899

Display caption

The model for this work was the artist’s first wife, and fellow painter, Mary Young-Hunter. The couple met as students at the Royal Academy and married the year this was painted. The setting is the grounds of Holland House, in Kensington, London. Art critic and painter A.L. Baldry described John and Mary Young-Hunter as ‘new Pre-Raphaelites’, who explored imaginative and symbolic subjects

Gallery label, September 2020

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Catalogue entry

N01698 MY LADY'S GARDEN 1899
Inscr. ‘J. Young Hunter 1899’ b.r.
Canvas, 42×71 3/4 (107×182).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1899.
Exh: R.A., 1899 (997).
Lit: A. L. Baldry, ‘The Work of Mr and Mrs J. Young Hunter’ in Studio, XXVIII, 1903, pp.271–9.
Repr: Art Journal, 1899, p. 178; Royal Academy Pictures, 1899, p.57.

Painted in the grounds of Holland House, Kensington. The artist's first wife Mary (1872–1947) posed for the lady. The picture is cited in the Introduction to Royal Academy Pictures, 1899, with other imaginative canvases by the younger men as ‘typical examples of the modern spirit and as marking plainly the direction in which youthful fancy is disposed to tend’. A. L. Baldry described the school to which the artist and his wife belonged as ‘the new Pre-Raphaelites’ and said that it had grown up as a reaction against the realistic belief taught a quarter of a century before. According to him ‘My Lady's Garden’ was the first picture to show that this romantic tendency had gained a hold over the artist.

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

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