John Bates Noel

Under April Skies

John Bates Noel

Under April Skies

This early 20th-century oil painting by British artist John Bates Noel (1870-1927) depicts a rugged country track in April.

Amid the desolate branches emerging from Winter, pockets of yellow primroses indicate the first blooms of Spring. It’s probably a view on the Malvern Hills, as Noel was living nearby at the time.

It’s an accomplished work, which somehow seems to capture the temperature as well as the aesthetic. It feels crisp and bright, yet you can feel a biting chill in the air. The trees are rendered particularly well - note the change in value as they recede from view which culminates in a misty haze of purple.

Noel was born John William Noel Bates, the son of eminent Worcestershire artist David Bates (1840-1921).

Signed in the lower left and held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 28½” x 22½” / 72cm x 57cm
Year of creation: c. 1920
Labels & Inscriptions: Inscribed with the title on reverse.
Provenance: Private collection, England.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £3,100

John Bates Noel

John Bates Noel

John Bates Noel was a British landscape painter predominantly known for his views of the West Midlands and Worcestershire. Born John William Noel Bates, his father was the accomplished artist David Bates. Noel exhibited several works at the Royal Academy and was also shown at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham and Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Learn more about John Bates Noel in our directory.

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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