This deeply atmospheric 19th-century oil painting by English artist, Edward John Cobbett (1815–1899), depicts a no-frills rural funeral. The deceased hangs forlornly from the back of a cart as a few mourners follow.
Their destination is a small church, which stands at the end of a muddied track. Cobbett usually painted with more refinement but this is a quick study, perhaps ahead of another work.
The reverse bears an inscription referring to the work as No. 2, so it’s plausible there were further studies. He’s captured the macabre scene with particular attention to the moody clouds, which transition from white to dark grey.
The composition skilfully leads the eye, through the sky, towards the church, which is conspicuous under white. Inscribed on the reverse and framed.
Medium: Oil on board Overall size: 22” x 15½” / 56cm x 40cm Year of creation: c. 1870 Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear. Artist’s auction highlight: £20,052 achieved for an oil painting in 2004.