Wynford Dewhurst

British artist (1864-1941)

Wynford Dewhurst, R.B.A. (26 January 18649 July 1941) was an English Impressionist painter and important writer on art. He spent considerable time in France and his work was profoundly influenced by Claude Monet.

Apple-Blossom time in Arc-la-Bataille. Signed Wynford Dewhurst.

Quotes edit

  • I remember distinctly, during the summer of 1901, at Les Andelys-on-Seine, that upon two days and for two hours in the afternoons of those days all Nature, animate and inanimate, bore the aspect of things seen under a strong glare of violet light, exactly as though a tinted glass were suspended between the sun's rays and the earth. The effect was most curious and disturbing. Nature appears to be toneless and flat. Highlights and shadows are attenuated almost to extinction, whilst in this dull purple glare the heat became more intense than ever, possibly through lack of wind, for all was still.
    • Wynford Dewhurst, 'What is Impressionism?' in Contemporary Review. vol. XCIX, 1911, p. 300.
  • Those Englishmen who are taunted with following the methods of the French Impressionists, sneered at for imitating a foreign style, are in reality but practising their own, for the French artists simply developed a style which was British in its conception.
    • Wynford Dewhurst 1904, quoted in: Douglas Cooper (1954) The Courtauld Collection: A Catalogue and Introduction. p. 44.

Impressionist Painting: its genesis and development. (1904) edit

Wynford Dewhurst. Impressionist Painting: its genesis and development. London: George Newnes, 1904.

  • From the earliest days of my pupilage to art I had been instinctively drawn towards the paintings of Turner, Corot, Constable, Bonington, and Watts, with an intense admiration for their manner in viewing, and methods of re-creating, nature upon their canvases ; and in later years I had been fascinated by the works of more modern artists, such as La Thangue, George Clausen, Edward Stott, and Robert Meyerheim.
    • p. vii; Preface.
  • In 1891 a student in Paris, I found myself face to face with a beautiful development of landscape painting, which was quite new to me. "Impressionism," together with its numerous progeny of eccentric offshoots, was at the time causing a great furore in the schools. Curiously enough I had been charged with copying Monet's style long before I had seen his actual work, so that my conversion into an enthusiastic Impressionist was short, in fact, an instantaneous process.
    • p. vii; Preface.
  • Since then I have endeavoured, by precept and by example, to preach the doctrine of Impressionism, particularly in England, where it is so little known and appreciated.
    • p. vii; Preface.
  • Although the great revolution of 1793 changed the whole face of France both politically and socially, it failed to emancipate the twin arts of painting and literature. In each case one tradition was succeeded by another, and nearly forty years elapsed before the new spirit completely broke through the barriers set up by a past generation.
    • p. 1: Ch. 1. The evolution of the impressionistic idea.
  • The world of art was less fortunate. Many of the younger men barely lived through the first flush of youth. Destroying Death is the worst enemy to the arts.
    • p. 1.
  • Ingres, a pupil of David, taught his students that draughtsmanship was of more importance than colour. " A thing well drawn," he said, " is always well enough painted."
    • p. 2.
  • Impressionism owes its birth to Constable ; and its ultimate glory, the works of Claude Monet, is profoundly inspired by the genius of Turner.
    • p. 4.

Quotes about Dewhurst edit

  • This Mr. Dewhurst has not understood the Impressionist movement in the very least. All he sees in it is a technical method... He also says that before going to London we knew nothing whatsoever about light; but we have studies that prove the contrary. He omits the influence of Claude Lorrain, Corot, all the 18th-century painters, Chardin most of all. But what he fails to realize is that while Turner and Constable were of service to us, they confirmed our suspicion that those painters had not understood 'The Analysis of Shadows', which in the case of Turner are always a deliberate effect, a plain dark patch. As to the division of tones, Turner confirmed us its value as a method, but not as a means of accuracy or truth to nature. In any case, the 18th century was our tradition. It seems to me that Turner too, had looked at Claude Lorrain. I am even inclined to think there is a picture by Turner, 'Sunset', hung side by side with a Claude.
    • Camille Pissarro From a letter to his son Lucien, 8 Mai 1903, as quoted in Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock - , Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963, p. 149.
    • Quote of Pissarro - referring to the writer of the book 'Impressionist Painting, it Genesis and Development' published in 1904.

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