Herbert Johnson Harvey

The Whisper, Self-Portrait

Regular price $1,417.00
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Herbert Johnson Harvey

The Whisper, Self-Portrait

Regular price $1,417.00
Unit price
per 
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This early 20th-century pastel by Herbert Johnson Harvey (1884-1928) depicts the artist dressed in traditional peasant clothing while surreptitiously whispering.

Harvey carried an admiration for the old masters, which was instilled by his father, the artist John Rabone Harvey. His works are steeped in traditional patterns and iconography. Here, we see one of several self-portraits he undertook which portray him akin to a 17th-century Dutch peasant. Its earthy tones and honest handling remind us of Rembrandt and Adriaen van Ostade.

It’s an engaging piece with the whisper aimed in our direction. He’s gossiping and we’re involved. Could it be a bawdy tale best kept within the confines of a tavern?

Following his father’s early tuition, Harvey enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London and then travelled to Italy to surround himself with works by the Renaissance luminaries.

A similar self-portrait is held in the collection at Birmingham Museum.

Signed in the lower right and held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Pastel on paper.
Overall size: 25½” x 32½” / 65cm x 83cm
Year of creation: c. 1920
Labels & Inscriptions: Conservator’s label on reverse.
Provenance: Private collection, England.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £10,000

 

Herbert Johnson Harvey

Herbert Johnson Harvey

Herbert Johnson Harvey was a British artist predominantly known for his old master inspired scenes with figures in domestic settings. He was also an accomplished portraitist. He was trained initially by his father, the animal and landscape painter John Rabone Harvey RBSA, and later enrolled at the Birmingham School of Art followed by the Royal College of Art.

He exhibited primarily with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists where he became a member but also at the Royal Academy and Paris Salon. During World War I, he became friends with Winston Churchill and gave him painting lessons.

His works are held in numerous public collections including at the British Museum.

Learn more about Herbert Johnson Harvey in our directory.

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