This early 20th-century oil on board by Christine Hansen (1872/1873-1968) depicts the Firth of Forth estuary in Scotland.
It’s probably painted ‘en plein air’ and captures a storm with impressionistic brushwork. It’s reminiscent of Camille Pissarro’s later works, particularly his port scenes.
The Firth of Forth is a geologically interesting location and technically a fjord, being formed by the Forth Glacier. The River Forth flows into the North Sea.
In 1914, the painting was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy (number 232), which was quite an achievement for the young artist. Also that year, Maude Edwards, a suffragette, attacked a portrait by John Lavery with a hatchet, so it was quite an event.
Little is known about Hansen but she exhibited widely including at McLellan Galleries Glasgow, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, and the London Salon. In the 1950s, she also exhibited close to her home in Llysfaen, Colwyn Bay. Her approach is underpinned by a love of the impressionists. Her rhythmical brushwork brings vivacity to stormy waters with flicks of white highlights creating energetic waves. Note how the fishing boat is partly submerged to convey the idea of turbulence. It’s interesting to consider whether she visited Paris during her studies like many of her contemporaries.
Signed, framed and glazed.
Learn more about Christine Hansen in our directory.
Medium: Oil on board
Overall size: 19½” x 14” / 50cm x 35cm
Year of creation: c. 1914
Condition: Artwork presents well. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.