Over to Skye, 2000

by Mary Fedden

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DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 8.7 x 11.4 in./22.0 x 29.0 cm
SIGNATURE:Signed and dated 2000 lower left
MEDIUM: Gouache on paper

Catalogue No: 5424 Categories: ,

‘I come back from holiday with sketchbooks full of landscapes.’ (quoted in Mary Fedden: Enigmas and Variations by Christopher Andreae, 2009, p.118).

This beautiful work on paper depicts the artist Mary Fedden atop a hill overlooking a lake on top of the isle of Skye in a striking red dress. Mary Fedden and her husband Julian Trevelyan often travelled across Europe and on Fedden’s return her notebooks would be filled with sketches of the landscapes visited such as Over to Skye. Following Julian’s Death in 1988 Fedden continued to travel across the globe, often taking several trips a year. Julian, however, was never far from her thoughts and her husband’s recognisable figure is glimpsed in the distance, sitting atop of a wall.

Provenance

Richard Hagen Paintings, Broadway;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

Biography

Mary Fedden was born in Bristol, and attended the city’s Badminton School, until she left at age sixteen, to study at the Slade School of Art, from 1932 to 1936. After leaving the college she lived between London and Bristol, and made a living teaching, painting portraits and producing stage designs for Sadler’s Wells and the Arts Theatre. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Fedden served in the Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service and was commissioned to produce murals for the war effort. In 1944 she was sent abroad as a driver for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.  After the war, she returned to easel painting and developed her individual style of still life painting, partially inspired by Modern painters such as Matisse and Braque.

 

In 1951 Mary Fedden married the artist Julian Trevelyan, whom she had met before the war. They took a studio on the Thames River at Chiswick, where Fedden lived and worked until she passed away. Together, Trevelyan and Fedden travelled widely and even collaborated on a mural commission for Charing Cross Hospital. Fedden received several other commissions for murals, most importantly from the Festival of Britain (1951), the P & O Liner, Canberra (1961) as well as from schools and hospitals.

 

In 1955, in an article in ‘The Artist’ magazine, Fedden wrote: “I really float from influence to influence. I found the early Ben Nicholson’s fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden.”

 

From 1958-1964 Fedden taught at the Royal College of Art and was the first female tutor in the Painting School. Her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones. Subsequently, Fedden taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, and was elected Royal Academician. From 1984 to 1988 she was President of the Royal West of England Academy. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath, as well as the University of Durham, and an O.B.E. for her work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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