Edward Robert Smythe, Bowden Lock, Suffolk

Edward Robert Smythe, Bowden Lock, Suffolk

This mid-Victorian rural scene by Edward Robert Smythe (1810-1899) is blessed with the picturesque romance of imagined country life. Smythe was purposeful and his works in high demand - particularly by those housed within overcrowded cities and industrialised towns.

Here, we see Bowden Lock in Suffolk manned by a young lad while another leads a horse. The river approaches from the left, which is partially obscured by a gnarled tree, and the view is graduated towards a distant town.

The details are faithfully represented - note the dappled effect on the brickwork, an effective technique to express light.

Smythe painted this lock on multiple occasions with another selling at Christie’s in 2008.

Learn more about Edward Robert Smythe in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 41” x 32” / 104cm x 82cm
Year of creation: c. 1870
Condition: Minor craquelure. Canvas relined. Overall very presentable.
Artist’s Auction Highlight: £60,752 achieved for ‘Favourite Hounds’ at Bonhams in 2013.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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