British artist Joseph Paulman remains, for the most part, a mystery of history. His works, however, demonstrate a painter of great skill with a passion for landscapes of the British countryside.
Perhaps Paulman was appealing to a sense of nostalgia for a quaint form of life in the country when he produced his selection of works. They stand resistant to the rising tide of industrialisation, which was casting the country in gritty, grimy tones. Paulman utilises an earthy palette in laying out scenes of water meadows or farmlands. They add an ancient quality to his work as if stating the timeless and transcendent nature of the beauty of the countryside.
No man-made machinations could ever surpass such scenes. He also often includes figures dressed in traditional country garbs to add another dimension of pastoral pleasantness.
There is a boldness in his colouring that makes his scenes appear present, despite their quaintness. Paulman is able to highlight small features which give his work extra energy. The gleaming heads of weeds shine with a pearlescence. The rushes on the riverbanks are a ruby-like rogue.
Diverse skies, too, appear rich and resplendent. Overcast clouds look like a sheet of silk, the peachy tones of a setting sun a plush taffeta. There is beauty in the thought Paulman has given to his work, as well as the scenes they depict. It is known that Paulman was active in Leeds at the turn of the 20th-century.
Whilst his works are not titled with any specific locations in mind, perhaps he gained inspiration from the country surrounding the metropolis. Whatever the case, Paulman displays skill and spirit in his evocative landscape paintings.
Exhibited at Spring Exhibition of the Leeds City Art Gallery.