A Recollection of Stevington, Bedfordshire–A Spinney in December
William Fraser Garden British
Not on view
Garden was one of the most remarkable watercolorists of the late nineteenth century whose technical virtuosity was used to strong visual effect. Born to Scottish parents who had settled in Bedford, he changed his name from Garden William Fraser to William Fraser Garden to distinguish himself from five artist brothers, and spent his life painting subjects along the River Ouse. When he made this work, he had begun to regularly send works to London exhibitions, although these failed to attract critical interest or financial success. This evocative winter scene is created from bands of wash, subtle gradations of tone and precise linear brushwork. The cropped, screen-like arrangement of trees and silhouetted forms point to Garden's interest in photography, while the colors and network of branches are precisely detailed and expressive. The title and date inscribed along the lower edge make it clear that the artist created this subject from memory.