English ( b.1850 - d.1890 )
|Image size||29.5 inches x 19.5 inches ( 49.5cm x 75cm )|
|Frame size||37 inches x 27.2 inches ( 66cm x 89.5cm )|
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original oil painting by Alice Mary Havers (Mrs Frederick Morgan), dating from around 1880.
The painting is presented and supplied in a mid 20th century ornate frame. The painted surfaces and canvas have benefitted from some restoration, cleaning and conservation which took place in the 1960s or 1970s.
Previously with McClelland Galleries, 33-35 May Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The painting is signed lower right.
Alice Mary Havers was an extraordinary English painter and illustrator of figure and religious subjects, genre and landscape. She was both clever and popular, and her original works are full of light and charm.
She was born in Norfolk in 1850, the third daughter of Thomas Havers of Thelveton Hall, Thelveton, Norfolk. This was her family seat, but her father was manager of the Falkland Islands, and so she was brought up with her family there, and later at Montevideo. On her father’s death in 1870 she returned to England and began her formal art training at the South Kensington Schools, where her work earned her the award of a free studentship in the first year.
In April 1872 Alice married the artist Frederick Morgan. This was also the year she first exhibited. Although she was now Mrs. Alice Mary Morgan, she chose to continue to be known professionally under her maiden name, as Mrs. Havers. Alice and Frederick lived together in St. John’s Wood, London and had two sons and a daughter. For the next eighteen years Alice worked extremely hard, bringing up her children, painting and exhibiting widely in London, Glasgow and elsewhere. She often used her children as models where appropriate and it is said that she would never employ a model who had sat for a male artist.
Havers first exhibited at the Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street, and in 1873 for the first time at the Royal Academy. At the Royal Academy alone she showed 33 works, many of which were large figure subjects. She also exhibited watercolours at the Dudley Gallery, London. She came to the attention of the monarch and received her patronage; one of her early pictures was purchased by Queen Victoria herself.
In addition to her success as an artist Alice also worked in art-illustration, in particular for some of the stories written by her sister Dorothy Henrietta Boulger, pseudonym “Theo Gift”. She also illustrated publications by Hans Christian Anderson and Lewis Carroll. Her work on Christmas cards was also considered especially good at the time.
Alice was commissioned for special programmes for Savoy Operas, and became a member of the Society of Lady Artists.
In 1888 Alice took her children to Paris for several months in order to be in direct contact with the latest styles of French paintings. It is possible that she was separated from her husband at this time. Whilst she was there she exhibited at the Salon and the Exposition Universelle.
Many of Alice’s subjects concern the lot of women, particularly in rural village communities. Many of her works exude a real empathy and warmth of spirit, and her ability to capture the essence of children is impressive.
Tragically, she career was cut short by her sudden death, at her residence in Marlborough Road, St. John’s Wood, London, on 26 August 1890. Her husband remarried the following year.
Today her works appear in public collections in Cardiff, Liverpool, Norwich and Sheffield.
This original painting depicts a charming scene of mother and children returning from an autumn walk, with all the apples they can carry! They are on the bank of a broad river, in open countryside, with meadows in the background. The sky above is pale blue to grey and the tall hedgerows are starting to lose their foliage; what remains has turned to rich oranges and browns. They are walking on soft green grass and look slightly weary from their endeavors, although their pink cheeks suggest they are happy and healthy. The mother is wearing a long elegant pink dress with puffed sleeves. Her dark hair is tied back and the white frill of a bonnet frames her face. She is carrying a tray of apples, some green, some red. In front of her are her two children, a girl with loose golden hair, wearing a long white dress, and a younger boy, wearing dark jacket and breeches. The children each hold a handle of a large woven basket, carried between them, within which are a dozen or more ripe apples. The girl carries yet more in the folds of her dress. It is a scene of wholesome fruitfulness, perfectly captivating the treasures of autumn.