Horace Mann Livens, Still Life With An Abundance Of Fruit

Horace Mann Livens, Still Life With An Abundance Of Fruit

A fine late 19th-century still life depicting an abundance of fruit by English artist, Horace Mann Livens (1862-1936). This beautiful presentation captures nature’s bounty with skill and vibrancy.

Livens was around 18 when he painted this and it’s inspired by the great English still-life painter, George Clare (1830-1900). At the time, he was probably still studying in his home town of Croydon under Walter Wallis (1853-1934).

Shortly after producing this painting, Livens worked at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp where he began a close friendship with Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). This ultimately led to Livens moving to Paris on Vincent’s request and studying French painting, particularly the work of Manet.

After his move back to London, Vincent famously wrote to him.

“Since I am here in Paris I have very often thought of yourself and work. You will remember that I liked your colour, your ideas on art and literature and I add, most of all, your personality.”

“If ever you did come here, write to me before and I will, if you like, share my lodgings and studio with you so long as I have any.“

Livens declined the offer to visit but he is recorded as producing the first portrait of Vincent by another hand. His works were exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Tate Gallery also holds examples.

The painting is signed in the lower right and housed within a gilt frame with a foliate border.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 29” x 25” / 73cm x 63cm
Year of creation: c. 1880
Provenance: England
Condition: Very presentable. Frame with some light age-related wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £4,419 achieved for a still life with flowers at an auction in 2002.

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