An Assignation in the Autumn
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

William Arthur Breakspeare

English ( b.1855 - d.1914 )

An Assignation in the Autumn

  • Oil on panel
  • Signed lower right

Image size 12.6 inches x 7.3 inches ( 32cm x 18.5cm )
Frame size 19.3 inches x 13.8 inches ( 49cm x 35cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art in the English county of Dorset, this original oil painting by William Arthur Breakspeare dates from around 1880.
The painting is presented and supplied untouched in its original Victorian ornate frame (which is shown in these photographs).
This antique painting is in very good condition, commensurate with its age. It wants for nothing and is supplied ready to hang and display.
The painting is signed lower right.

William Arthur Breakspeare was a prolific artist and prominent part of the Birmingham art scene at the end of the nineteenth century. He worked in both oils and watercolour and had a keen eye for detail and accuracy. Although he is known for his genre and storytelling works, his subjects were actually quite varied, ranging from figurative and costume work to landscapes. He was a talented draftsman and artist whose skill and versatility were greatly admired.

He was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham on 19 January 1855/56 and lived there until the age of 22. His father, John Breakspear, was a flower painter working in the Birmingham japanning trade. As a young man William was apprenticed to the japanners Halbeard and Wellings as a decorator. He also studied at the Birmingham School of Art before continuing his artistic training in Paris and at Verlat’s Academy in Antwerp. He was much influenced by Thomas Couture. He returned to Birmingham, then living in Paradise Street, and later moved to Haverstock Hill in London two years later. For a while from about 1884 he was also one of the Birmingham artists that helped to establish the Newlyn School in Cornwall.

Breakspeare was closely associated with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, exhibiting 34 works there from 1874 to 1899. He was one of the first Associates of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1881 and was elected a full member of the RBSA in 1884. He was a founding member of the Birmingham Art Circle and his works is represented today in the Birmingham Art Gallery. During his lifetime Breakspear exhibited regularly in the principal London galleries, including the Royal Academy, Suffolk Street and the Grafton Gallery. He died at home on 8 May 1914.

© Big Sky Fine Art

This charming original oil on panel work depicts a young lady waking on a pathway through wooded countryside. She is wearing a long brown cape over a ruby red blouse and pale green skirt. She holds up her skirt to keep it clean, revealing simple brown shoes over white stockings and her pretty white petticoats. She has dark brown hair, pinned up in the style of the day, beneath a trimmed bonnet. She has a pleasant expression on her face, and we sense that she is walking with purpose, perhaps to meet someone. The trees in the background are turning shades of rich auburn and there are leaves on the ground indicating that it is autumn. The overall palette is rich, warm and joyous.