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Flower Market in Menton

Flower Market in Menton

Location: Menton, France

Subject: Streetscape

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1920s

Signature: Knighton Hammond

Dimensions: 31 cm x 42 cm

Whatever clues to artistic procedure Knighton-Hammond had managed to glean for himself in the South of France and in Italy between 1922 to 1932, the tuition that he received at Manchester Municipal School of Art under Adolphe Valette gave him a firm sense of direction. On the Continent, he quickly gained an understanding of the dynamics of urban life in France and Italy. His emerging mastery of architectural squares painted in an Impressionist style is evident here in the Flower Market in Menton. Amid a profusion of constructive brush strokes, executed on the spot, the work possesses great colour, light and immediacy giving the painterly illusion of movement and spontaneity. With the clusters of figures engaged in everyday conversation, one is aware a human story is being told in each part of the square. Knighton-Hammond captures the intimacy and the hustle and bustle of the market encapsulated by the architecture which is painted with great freedom and accuracy without being slavish to detail. The market stall and figures are produced with the brush. He blends his tints on the paper while wet and with such knowledge as to achieve great fluidity and gets everything just right compositionally.

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