Friday, 14 September 2012


... and now for something completely different...oil on canvas, 42 x 42 ins, a painting, a delectable painting which is neither didactic nor ponderous.

Hugo Grenville has been described as Britain's leading Romantic painter, He gives us less a straghtforward representation of a scene, more a re-invention, something freer, full of light and colour. You need to take your time to wander through this painting. Its full title is 'Like a Land of Dreams, So Various, So Beautiful, So New', a quotation from Matthew Arnold's poem 'Dover Beach'. 

The figure in the centre of the frame first catches the eye. She looks familiar, referencing earlier well known paintings, maybe some scupltures too. But there's so much more here to explore: the texture of that pretty carved pink and white chair for a start. And the round polished tables - one so near you could almost reach out and touch it - reflecting bountiful flowers and fruit. And why not walk outside? It's tempting because there seems to be the flimsiest divide between the room and the landscape. Before we know it we are present under a wide and beautiful sky. 

 "Jug Of Flowers, Winter Light"
oil on canvas 36 x 34in
''(My paintings),' writes the artist,' are for me celebrations of life. They are about light and colour and the things that make one want to get up in the morning...There is enough social realism around these days but I don’t think that’s where my skill lies. I think it is a very legitimate reason for painting, certainly for someone like Lucien Freud...but it’s not me...I have made a very conscious decision to separate my work from the time in which we live'.

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