Oil on canvas
About the work
Most of Amy Katherine (A. K.) Browning’s paintings of cut flowers arrangements were painted over a period of days in a specific light. Although the fragility and transience of many of her flower paintings give the impression that they were painted at great speed, this was not often the case. She generally made detailed sketches first before taking time to paint the final composition. In her book, A.K. Browning: an Impressionist in the Women’s Movement, Joanna Dunham points out that Browning’s solo exhibition at the Fine Arts Society in 1925 consolidated her reputation as a flower painter but asserts that, combined with her gender, this was a significant way that Browning’s recognition an important artist was denigrated. This was apparently the main reason that Browning signed her paintings without revealing her first name so as to disguise the fact that she was a woman, in order that her work was judged on equal terms with her male colleagues.Gardening and flowers were an integral part of Browning’s creative life. Her mother, Katherine, created an extraordinary garden at the farmhouse that the family moved to at Kitchen End near Silsoe in Bedfordshire in 1897. Three of Katherine’s daughters inherited her love of gardening and Browning’s own passion revealed itself early in life through her numerous paintings of flowers. In 1927, Browning moved with her husband to Suffolk where they inherited a large, secluded mature garden that continued to provide her with a fresh supply of flowers to paint. Moving to Benhall, Suffolk in 1942 gave Browning access to a walled garden with a herbaceous border and some unusual plants ‘… all very paintable’ as Dunham notes in her biography.
About the artist
Amy Katherine Browning was born into a farming family in Bramingham Hall, near Luton, Bedfordshire. She broke away from her conventional background to study at the Royal College of Art where she met Sylvia Pankhurst and became involved in the Suffragette movement. Browning also studied in Paris, and after the First World War, she exhibited at the first Paris Salon in 1922, where her painting 'Lime Tree Shade' won the Gold Medal. She continued to exhibit both in the US and abroad and was a member of various societies including the New English Art Club and at the Royal Academy. She was married to the artist Thomas C. Dugdale.
- Full Summer
- Oil on canvas
- height: 87.50 cm, width: 71.50 cm
- Purchased from the artist, January 1957
- br: A K BROWNING
- GAC number