“Sitting for their portraits”
“Sitting for their portraits”
“Sitting for their portraits”
“Sitting for their portraits”

HENRY GARLAND (1834-1913)

“Sitting for their portraits”

1834 to 1913 England

Offered by John Bennett Fine Paintings

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Henry Garland was a fine painter of animals, genre and landscapes in the Victorian tradition displaying an eye for composition, empathy with the subject matter and an excellent technique.

He was born in 1834 at Hadlow in Kent but little is known about his family or early life. He attended the Royal Academy School from 1853 to 1857 where he was twice awarded the medal for best drawing from life.

Garland spent his professional life at addresses in London although later, around the mid-1880s, he moved to Leatherhead in Surrey where he remained until his death in 1913. In 1854 he was residing in Kingsland - named after an area which had been a Tudor hunting ground around a royal residence at Newington Green, but since has become subsumed into Dalston and Hackney - and later at addresses in the Harrow Road and Hampstead.

The level of artistic ability at his disposal enabled him to cover a range of subject matter from Highland cattle, domestic pets, landscapes, portraits and narrative genre scenes. Some of his paintings of domestic animals followed in the tradition of the time and as William Secord writes in his book Dog Painting 1840-1940; A Social History of the Dog in Art: “Anecdotal paintings…where dogs are given human emotions, were quite common in Victorian England. Dogs were a part of the household and, as such, were thought to have feelings”. He exhibited regularly between 1854 and 1890 sending thirty-two paintings to the Royal Academy, twelve at the British Institute, sixty-seven at the Royal Society of British Artists as well as others at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Manchester City Art Gallery, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham.

Titles of some exhibited works include: “The Pet Rabbits”, “A bad dog”, “Left in charge”, “A boat builders shop”, “A musical party” “Collecting cattle in the Highlands”, “Waiting for a breeze, Southwold”, “An Old Mill, North Devon”, “Near Hambledon” and “Football”.

Examples of his work can be seen in the MCC Museum at Lord’s Cricket Ground “The Winner of the Match; Excelsior Cricket Club 1864”, York City Art Gallery and Museum which has “Looking for the Mail” an iconic Victorian human interest depiction of a family scanning the sea for a sighting of the boat which might carry news of a son, Sunderland Museum, Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester and Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

There were two other painters, Valentine Thomas and William Garland who also painted similar subjects. Christopher Wood, in his The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, speculates that all three were the same artist. However, the aforementioned two sent exhibited paintings from addresses in Winchester at the same time as Henry was living in London and the styles are slightly different. Valentine Thomas in particular had a drier palette and a more sentimental tone to his work so although it is possible that they were related, they are unlikely to be one and the same.

The Dictionary of Victorian Painters - Christopher Wood
Dog Painting 1840-1940 - William Secord
The Dictionary of British Artists – J Johnson and A Greutzner

Original condition and frame
Height 35.50 cm (13.98 inches)
Width 45.70 cm (17.99 inches)
External Height 60.00 cm (23.62 inches)
External Width 71.50 cm (28.15 inches)
Oil on canvas
signed and signed, inscribed and dated 1872 on reverse
John Bennett Fine Paintings

John Bennett Fine Paintings

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