Shepherd and his dog minding sheep

GBP 895.00

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Object Description

Framed watercolour, signed lower left

Object History

Claude Hayes became an extremely fluent and successful watercolourist and oil painter specialising in scenes of shepherding and farming life. The son of the Irish marine artist Edwin Hayes RHA RI (1820 – 1904), father and son did not see eye to eye of the latter’s future, father determined for his son to go into business. The consequence was that Claude served with the Abyssinian Expedition on the Golden Fleece for twelve months. On his return he went to the States for further twelve months, but then returned to England and studied at the Royal Academy Schools and in Antwerp.

Hayes settled into pure English watercolour landscape painting in the tradition established by David Cox (1783 – 1859), Thomas Collier (1840-1891) and continued by such artists as Edmund Wimperis RI (1835 – 1900). Hayes travelled widely in the south of the country and loved wide open spaces and large skies, very often featuring sheep and shepherds. He worked quickly and his work is full of vigour and freshness in an en-plein air manner.

In his three-volume coverage of Watercolour Painting in Britain, the 20th Century expert Martin Hardie wrote of Hayes “…Hayes did follow Collier in bringing back some of the breadth and grandeur which had been scattered in to disunity by some of their predecessors…Hayes followed the great principles and aims of Cox and Collier. Maintaining worthily and without imitation their breezy, open-air style, he had the power of following broken ground into receding distance with able indication of form and colour values. His transparent use of fresh and untroubled colour allowed the sparkle of white paper to play its part in the general scheme.”

Hayes often stated that, once established, he “For many years I have never made less than £700 a year by my painting.” £700 in 1890 equates to about £90,000 today. However, examples of his work in good condition offer extremely good value today.

This watercolour by Hayes remains in good condition and has been in a private collection for over 50 years. One of a group of seven watercolours which may be viewed on the John Davies Gallery website.

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Object Details

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Fosseway Business Park
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