Figures by a Lake
About the work
An atmospheric view of a French pastoral scene infused with subtle light and dark tones on a warm summer’s day. Fragments of white cloud dot the summer sky above the landscape in which two women rest at the edge of the still lake that reflects the surrounding wooded landscape. Painted in 1891, during the period when Charles Conder lived and worked in France, this painting clearly shows the influence of the ‘plein air’ style. This approach involved the process of painting outside directly from nature that was embraced by French Impressionist painters from the 1830s, most notably Claude Monet. His influence is especially evident in Conder’s delicate handling of colour in this work. Conder visited and lived in Paris from 1890, following several years studying painting in Australia. While living in France he became familiar with the countryside along the banks of the river Seine below Paris, especially the area around Mantes. It is likely that this painting was made from a spot in this area just outside Paris.
About the artist
Charles Edward Conder was a portrait, landscape painter, printmaker and illustrator. However, he is best known for his watercolours on silk and fan paintings. The son of a civil engineer, Conder was born in London but spent his early childhood in India. At the age of 17 he joined his uncle in Australia and later obtained a post at ‘The Illustrated Sydney News’. He studied painting in Sydney and Melbourne. Conder later moved to Paris to study and exhibited in Paris from 1892 for the rest of his life. In 1893, he became a member of the New English Art Club and settled in London in 1897. He was forced to give up painting in 1906 and, after a long period of illness, died at Virginia Water in 1909.
- Figures by a Lake
- Oil on canvas
- height: 66.00 cm, width: 81.00 cm
- Purchased from Leicester Galleries, June 1961
- With Appleby Bros., London; from whom purchased by the Leicester Galleries, London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in July 1961
- GAC number