CHARLES MARCH GERE, RA, RWS
Signed with monogram l.lr, signed again with monogram and dated 1912 on the overlap; signed and inscribed with title on the backboard
Tempera on canvas
In original frame, probably made by Edith Payne, the artist’s sister.
22 by 32 cm., 8 ¾ by 12 ½ in.
(frame size 36.5 by 46.5 cm., 14 ½ by 18 ¼ in.)
Charles H. St John Hornby (no.053 in the catalogue of his collection.)
Gere was born in Gloucester and studied at the Birmingham School of Art under E R Taylor. He joined the staff of the art school in 1893. In the 1890s he worked as an illustrator, contributing to The Quest and books illustrated by the Birmingham Group and designing the frontispiece for William Morris’s News from Nowhere (Kelmscott Press, 1892). In his early career he was involved in a number of the arts and crafts, designing embroidery, metalwork and stained glass and painting the reredos in the Chapel at Madresfield. Gradually, however, he became almost exclusively a landscape painter. In about 1904 he and his sister Margaret settled in Painswick, near Stroud, and many of his subjects were found in the surrounding Cotswolds, which was to become his favourite painting ground. He exhibited at the New Gallery, Society of Painters in Tempera, Royal Academy, New English Art Club, Royal Watercolour Society and Art Workers Guild. A memorial exhibition was held in Gloucester in 1963.
The current work is a smaller and earlier version of Vintage in North Italy, the artist’s 1913 tempera on canvas, now in the collection of Manchester City Art Gallery.
This work was in the collection of Charles H St John Hornby (1867-1946), founder of the Ashendene Press. Under the influence of Emery Walker and Sydney Cockerell he set up the press in Ashendene, Hertfordshire in 1895. In 1899 it moved to Chelsea and operated until 1935, apart from a break in production during World War I. Producing small print runs of beautifully executed books he employed a number of important artists and designers including Eric Gill and Robert Catterson-Smith, then head of Birmingham School of Art. In c.1910 he commissioned Charles March Gere and Margaret Gere to produce a group of illustrations for his edition of The Morte D’Arthur which was published in 1913. He was a keen supporter of both Charles and Margaret, he owned a number of their paintings.