This expressive 19th-century landscape painting by Scottish artist William Mouncey (1852-1901) depicts a river sweeping through woodland. It’s possibly the River Dee in Kirkcudbright, his home town.
This majestic piece comes alive through its rhythmical brushwork, which deftly captures the light on a brisk Autumnal day. Areas of impasto enliven branches while the river shimmers with horizontal highlights. Mouncey loved this place and worked predominantly in his local area.
A quiet, independent, man, Mouncey worked hard from nature with feeling and careful observation. He painted how he liked, regardless of the latest fashions, yet arrived at a style which was particularly popular in the late 19th century. As such, he was compared to the great Barbizon school painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) as well as Jacob Maris (1837-1899) of the Dutch Hague School. However, these comparisons were not by design - he simply found a style he believed in, one which could capture the relationship he had with the land.
If he could be compared with anyone, it would be his local peers. In the late 1880s, a group of painters were described as the ‘Kirkcudbright School’. They adopted a vigorous technique often involving impasto, where paint is applied thickly to add texture. Scottish Colourist Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935) is considered a contributor to this school.
Mouncey exhibited works at the Royal Scottish Academy as well other prestigious venues. In 1908, The Studio magazine mentioned that ‘he was content to pass his days, surrounded by the beautiful country that so deeply appealed to him, and he interpreted so finely. His was an art that grew spontaneously, flowering in the quiet valleys, nourished by Nature herself”.
The painting is signed in the lower left and held within a splendid Rococo revival frame with swept corners.
Learn more about William Mouncey in our directory.
Please note that this painting will need to be crated if shipped overseas. A cost for the crate will be added on during checkout.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 32” x 27½” / 81cm x 70cm
Year of creation: c. 1895
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Light craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £7,500 achieved for an oil painting in 1999.