English ( b.1843 - d.1907 )
|17.3 inches x 31.5 inches ( 44cm x 80cm )
|21.9 inches x 35.8 inches ( 55.5cm x 91cm )
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art in the English county of Dorset, this original oil painting by Arthur Joseph Meadows dates from 1877.
The painting is presented and supplied in a sympathetic and complimenting contemporary frame (which is shown in these photographs). The painted surface has benefitted from some restoration, cleaning and conservation performed when in previous ownership in the last 10 years. The canvas was lined during this restoration process.
It is our continuing policy to only supply original artwork in very good condition and each piece is supplied ready to hang and display.
The painting is signed and dated 1877 lower left.
Arthur Meadows was a successful nineteenth century English maritime artist. He was one of the most talented members of a family with a rich artistic heritage. His father James and his brother James Edwin were also respected artists, but Arthur is generally considered to be the best of them.
Arthur Meadows was born in Bow in the East End of London on 9 October 1843. He was the seventh of a large family of five sons and three daughters. As the youngest son he lived with his parents until his father’s death in 1863, and then continued to live in the neighbouring streets off Bow Road in close proximity to his mother and one of his sisters until 1868. From 1869 to the 1880s Arthur then lived with his family lived in Dover, where he was able to develop his sea painting. They lived there firstly at Charlton House, then at Eastbrook Terrace.
Arthur received most of his artistic training from his father. He became a follower of Clarkson Stanfield and developed a similar style. At the age of 18 he exhibited his first painting at The Royal Society of British Artists and between 1862-1885 a total of 22 of his works hung at The Royal Society. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy and at Suffolk Street.
At 21 Meadows married Laura Harrison, who was a seamstress and pianist. Meadows and his wife shared a love of music and he also played the violin and accordion. He was also an amateur dramatist (a member of drama group, The Pickwick Histrionic Club), a dancer and a keen sportsman. He and Laura raised at least eight children, so theirs was a most busy and creative household!
Meadows specialised in coastal and harbour scenes, some of England but often of the French or Dutch coast. He travelled extensively around Europe, including to France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Towards the latter part of his career he produced some very impressive Venetian panoramas which are now much sought after.
His work compares very favourably with most of the major nineteenth century maritime artists, due to his impressive ability to convey the depth and movement of the sea and perfectly capture the atmosphere of a scene. He excelled in capturing local colour and detail within a subtle palette which gave his works a real emotional content.
Meadows made a good living from selling his art, generally direct to London dealers. He gifted works to many private individuals and other artists that he befriended. His financial success also enabled him to be active in early humanitarian efforts, and he was involved in the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in the mid-Victorian era.
His oils are usually fully signed, whereas his watercolour works are generally initialled.
Meadows died on 17 November 1907 in Hammersmith, West London. Today Meadows’ paintings can be found in many museums and art galleries including The National Maritime Museum.
© Big Sky Fine Art
This original oil on canvas depicts a small sailing vessel, with a raised sail, skimming across the waves. This is a pilot boat, as denoted by the letter P on its sail. There is a larger vessel with two masts in the mid ground and a third large vessel in the background. Both of these are bathed in sunlight. This is all set on the Flemish North Sea coastline. On the shoreline we see a tall stone watch tower, with a row of modest dwellings along the shoreline. The sea is choppy with swell forming sea crests and challenging for all the vessels. The sky above is full of movement, with clouds in shades of grey and mauve. We anticipate the approaching gale which appears offshore.