Right of Garden, Landscape

by Hans Iten


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 21 x 26.5 inches (53.3 x 67.3 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed (lower left)
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

This charming painting depicts a curated garden in summer, and is by Hans Iten, the finest flower painter of his time. The garden is flooded in bright sunlight, while the trees in full leaf cause dappled shade. The composition makes the picture seem as though it is being viewed through a window, the tops of the trees projecting out of the picture plane. This gives the viewer the sense that they are experiencing the view through the trees in real life.


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    Known as John to his friends, Iten was hailed as the finest flower painter in Ireland during his day. In addition, he completed many landscapes, drawing inspiration from the countryside of County Antrim and County Down. He also painted a number of Swiss rural scenes. In 1930, Iten (along with Charles Lamb and Frank McKelvey and others) was among the first artists elected to the Ulster Academy of Arts. Unfortunately he died later the same year while on a visit to Switzerland. In 1971, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland staged a highly successful retrospective exhibition of Iten’s works.

    Private collection, United Kingdom


    William Rodman & Co., Belfast, gallery label verso.

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    Hans Iten was born in Zurich and studied painting and drawing at the School of Art, St Gall, Switzerland. He worked for a few years in Paris, befriending the Impressionist painter Pierre Montezin (1874-1946), from whom he took great influence. The Impressionist focus on light and atmosphere, over physical detail, is very evident in Iten’s work.

    He later took up a post as a damask designer with a linen manufacturer in Belfast, the city which became his home until his death. Iten exhibited with and was closely associated with the Belfast Art Society, being elected a vice-president in 1906. He also submitted paintings to the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in Dublin, the first being displayed in 1908. In total, almost 50 of Iten’s pictures appeared at the RHA during his lifetime. In addition he submitted successfully to the Society of French Artists and exhibited in several UK galleries such as: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; the Fine Arts Society, London; and the Royal Academy (RA).

    Hans Iten’s works appear in several collections, including: County Museum, Armagh; Queen’s University, Belfast; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Hugh Lane Gallery of Art, Dublin.

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