Joseph Walter West

A May Frost, Early Morning, Rievaulx

Regular price $3,228.00
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Joseph Walter West

A May Frost, Early Morning, Rievaulx

Regular price $3,228.00
Unit price
per 
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This early 20th-century oil painting by British artist Joseph Walter West (1860-1933) depicts a view of Rievaulx Abbey.

It’s a bitterly cold morning in North Yorkshire as the mediaeval ruins of Rievaulx Abbey peer from beyond hawthorn trees. It’s May and the hawthorns are in blossom, creating a resplendent wall of silvery abundance - echoing a blanket of ground frost.

West was in his sixties when he came here, probably travelling from his home in Middlesex to undertake various studies. His career was well-established by this point with numerous works shown at Britain’s more prestigious venues. In 1925, this particular piece was hung at the ‘New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition’, which attracted over 3.2 million visitors, more than double the country’s population.

In an obituary, a fellow artist described him as a "rather shy and reserved" man "whose whole outlook on life was a reflection of his personal integrity and conscientiousness". With this in mind, one can imagine him patiently waiting behind his easel as the morning sun gently lifted above the horizon.

Held in a splendid gilt frame, which is probably original. Previously sold through Christie’s in 1999. Also referred to as ‘Thus Spring Came Stealing Up Expectant Valleys’.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 44½” x 36½” / 113cm x 93cm
Year of creation: c. 1922
Labels & Inscriptions: Gallery label and exhibition label on reverse.
Provenance: New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition / Private collection, England.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £6,000

Joseph Walter West

Joseph Walter West

Joseph Walter West was an accomplished painter, lithographer, and illustrator of animals, genre scenes and landscapes. He trained initially in York, under Edwin Moore, and later at the Royal Academy Schools and the Académie Julian in Paris. His works were shown widely at numerous venues including the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists (where he was a member), and the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours (where he was also a member and later its vice-president). The British Museum, London Transport Museum, and the V&A hold examples.

Learn more about Joseph Walter West in our directory.

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