Feeding Ducks at the stream

Benjamin D. Sigmund

English ( b.1857 - d.1947 )

Feeding Ducks at the stream

  • Watercolour
  • Signed lower right

Image size 9.84 inches x 13.8 inches ( 25cm x 35cm )
Frame size 17.7 inches x 21.9 inches ( 45cm x 55.5cm )

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Sold by Big Sky Fine Art; this original watercolour by Benjamin Sigmund dates from the 1880s or 1890s.
The work is presented and supplied in a later elaborate frame behind glass.
Previously with “Images in Watercolour” Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire in the 1960s.

Benjamin Sigmund was an English watercolour painter, who always worked outdoors and specialised in genre scenes of tranquility and charm.

He was born in St. Luke’s, Middlesex in 1857 and lived in London, and then Maidenhead, before settling with his wife and daughter in Wrexham Road, East Burnham near Slough. He nevertheless travelled widely within England and Wales to paint, particularly favouring Devon, Cornwall and Wales as well as his native Buckinghamshire.

Sigmund produced two illustrated books, “By the Sea Shore” and “Reeds and Grasses”, both published in 1888. His work was exhibited widely from 1880-1903, at the Royal Academy, Suffolk Street, the New Watercolour Society and elsewhere.

Sigmund’s style is characterised by the way he captured the unique quality of light peculiar to the south English countryside, the detail of a figure or two and the beauty of the background. His pictures are quintessentially English, and speak to us of a time when children played carefree in the sun, young women tended their gardens, fed their poultry and day dreamed on the field gate, sheep grazed in meadows, peace reigned and time seemingly stood still. Whilst the idyll may not always have represented the reality of country life, his art captures something of the dream, and this explains why his pictures have been popular as posters and illustrations over many years.

This original watercolour is a charming gem, a quintessentially English rural image straight from a Victorian chocolate box!
There is a small whitewashed cottage with thatched roof and open windows. To the front there is a simple lane that winds past the cottage and out of view. Behind there is an abundance of foliage, green trees and hedgerow, and a hint of orange suggests that it is perhaps later summer. In the foreground is a rosy cheeked young girl, dressed in a white top and red skirt. She is sitting on the verge with a wicker basket, from which she is feeding three large white ducks. In the bottom left of the image is a stream, or babbling brook, from which the ducks have no doubt wandered.
The image puts us in mind of the simple pleasures of a time gone by.