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Oil painting - Landscape
  • Landscape
    Rowntree, Kenneth, born 1915 - died 1997
  • Enlarge image

Landscape

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1956 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rowntree, Kenneth, born 1915 - died 1997 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas laid down on wooden panels

  • Museum number:

    E.1-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A mural painting commissioned for the Centre for Cancer Treatment, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex. The painting depicts a table laid for breakfast, in the foreground, with a view of a coastal landscape and doves in a tree.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. 1956 (painted)

Artist/maker

Rowntree, Kenneth, born 1915 - died 1997 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas laid down on wooden panels

Dimensions

Height: 418 cm approx., Width: 220 cm approx.

Object history note

Kenneth Rowntree was a painter, designer and illustrator known best for his English landscape subjects. He worked predominantly in watercolour or oil and also executed murals. Born into a Quaker family in Scarborough, Yorkshire on 14th March 1915, Rowntree’s early education was in York at Bootham School. In 1930 he began his art education at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford. He studied there until 1934 under Albert Rutherston and during this time he was also briefly taught by Eric Ravilious. He then studied at the Slade School of Fine Art under Randolph Schwabe from 1934 until 1935.

In 1939 Rowntree married Diana Buckley who later became the architecture correspondent for the Guardian. Together they had a son and a daughter. During the first two years of the Second World War they lived in the modern Lawn Road Flats in Hampstead (designed by their friend Wells Coates) and between 1942 and 1949 they lived at Great Bardfield in Essex. Between 1940 and 1943 Rowntree was one of more than sixty artists who were commissioned by the Government and financed by the Pilgrim Trust to paint British scenes, of both town and country, during the uncertain times of the Second World War. The intention was to paint scenes under threat, thus recording them for posterity. Rowntree was an ideal artist for ‘Recording Britain’ as he was skilled in capturing and evoking the scenery and essence of a place. The artists in this project depicted the landscapes and buildings in thirty-six counties with Rowntree focusing on Yorkshire, Essex, Bedforshire, Derbyshire and Wales.

After the war Rowntree continued to paint subjects that piqued his topographical interest. In 1948 he contributed around twenty watercolour depictions of Wales for the book A Prospect of Wales (text by Gwyn Jones) and he also contributed work for Clough and Amabel Williams Ellis’ “Vision of England” series. Around this time he also starting teaching at the Royal College of Art. By the late 1950s he was teaching at the Ruskin School of Drawing and in 1959 he succeeded Lawrence Gowing at Newcastle University as Professor of Fine Art, a post he remained in until his retirement in 1980.

Rowntree was made a member of the Society of Mural Painters in 1943 and an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1946. His first one-man show was held at the Leicester Galleries in 1946 and between 1946 and 1970 he had five solo exhibitions in London. He died in Hexham, Northumberland on 21st February 1997.

During the period in which he painted landscapes and townscapes for the ‘Recording Britain’ project Rowntree was renowned for his eye for design and his often quirky choice of subject matter. Landscape is an example of a later work in Rowntree’s oeuvre; the sense of quirkiness present in earlier works is retained but the style is more geometric and structured, showing his increased interest in Cubist and Constructivist methods.

Descriptive line

Oil painting by Kenneth Rowntree, 'Landscape', oil on canvas laid down on wooden panels, Great Britain, ca. 1956

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings Accession Register for 1994

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Coffee pot; Newspaper; Table; Chair; Birds; Landscape; Apples

Categories

Paintings; Landscapes; Health

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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