Artwork Library

Figures before a Church

Figures before a Church

Location: Menton, France

Subject: Streetscape

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1920s

Signature: Knighton-Hammond

Dimensions: 46 cm x 47 cm

‘Figures before a Church’ was possibly painted in Menton and shows K-H at his Continental best. With the architectural features quickly sketched in with the brush, there is little detail apparent at close quarters yet when viewed from a distance the impressionism kicks in so that the composition can be fully read and understood.

The figures have been sketched in outline at lightning speed with the brush before being in-filled with watercolour wash to give transparency and a feeling of spontaneity and movement. The day’s trading is coming to a close and the horse and cart are about to set off. The composition is enlivened by the artist’s signature use of red slashes in the clothing.

These Continental watercolours set K-H apart from his contemporaries so much so that Augustus John rightly declared him to be ‘the greatest English painter in watercolours of our time’.

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