Harold Hope Read (1881-1959)
“From silk-smooth breasts and thighs the flush is fading.
The bright day wanes…”
Signed with initials; bears title on a label attached to the reverse
Pen and ink and wash, unframed, in conservation mount
31 by 27 cm.
Harold Hope Read was born in Greenwich to a Quaker family. He studied art in Lewisham and by 1907 was living in Bolton Studios South Kensington. A figurative artist and illustrator, in his early career he was encouraged by Charles Lambert Rutherston, brother of Sir William Rothenstein, a discerning collector of contemporary English art. In 1928, Rutherston gave his entire collection, including a number of works by Read to Manchester City Art Gallery.
Read had moved Brighton and by 1933 to Tunbridge Wells. His subject matter often featured the shoppers and shop fronts of Kensington and Tunbridge Wells and made amusing observations of people going about their normal life, often revealing a quirky element. He often included the figure of his mistress/housekeeper and her small dog which may be the dog seen sunning itself on the beach in the present work.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Alpine Gallery, New English Art Club and elsewhere. He also contributed political cartoons to Punch and the London Evening Standard.