James Herbert Snell, Bray Church On Thames

James Herbert Snell, Bray Church On Thames

A beautiful early 20th-century oil painting depicting the River Thames near Bray in Berkshire by British artist, James Herbert Snell (1861-1935). A church is visible on the horizon, which is probably St Micheal’s.

James Herbert Snell was an interesting painter as his works span a transitionary period for British art. When he began his career, French impressionism was in full swing and gaining the attention of many British artists. As a young man, he would’ve surely been influenced by the impressionists, yet also embedded into a deep British tradition for realism. As such, many of his paintings draw on both schools, with his later works becoming more impressionistic. 

Snell trained at the Academy in Heatherleys and also visited Paris and Amsterdam for study trips. His travels enabled him to collaborate with a range of diverse artists, which furthered his development. In 1890, he was invited to the Royal Society of British Artists and also later became a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He exhibited widely, including 45 times at the Royal Academy.

The painting is signed in the lower right and housed within a later frame.

Medium: Oil on board
Overall size: 18½” x 14” / 47cm x 36cm
Year of creation: c. 1910
Provenance: England
Condition: Overall very presentable. 
Artist’s auction highlight: £4,800 achieved for ‘The Willow Pool’ at Christie’s in 2020.

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