The Lily Harvest, c. 1880

by David Murray


Dimensions: (unframed) 18 x 36 inches.
(framed) 26 x 44 inches.
Signature: Signed (lower right)
Medium: Oil on canvas


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    Catalogue No: 6446 Categories: ,

    Murray painted his – largely landscape – paintings with a delicate hand which often lent an airy, hazy quality to them. He also commonly painted water, which here dominates the work. Some rugged, awesome landscape is hinted at in the background, but Murray wants our eyes on the water and the women and lilies which populate it. We get a sense of what lies behind from the huge shadow it casts over the waters. It fills the painting with deep, earthy tones upon which are speckled these white and pale green flowers. Women dressed in vivid orange and white provide further relief against the dark waters as they go about their work harvesting the lilies.

    Property from the Estate of Robert P. Stupp, St. Louis, Missouri

    Le Trianon Fine Art & Antiques

    Alexander Avenard Collection

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    Sir David Murray was born in Scotland in 1849, to the son of a shoemaker. Initially Murray worked for mercantile firms whilst studying at Glasgow School of art in the evenings, and it wasn’t until 1875 that he devoted himself to a fully-fledged artistic career. He soon became an associate at the Royal Scottish Academy.

    It was Murray’s move to London that really ignited his artistic career. His well-known piece, ‘My Love Has Gone A-Sailing’ was exhibited in 1882 and was purchased by the Chantrey Trustees for the Tate Gallery.

    In 1891 Murray was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, and a full member of the Royal Academy in 1905. About 1886 he broadened his horizons and travelled to the continent, but all of his more characteristic work was done in Scotland or England. Murray was a member of Glasgow Art Club and exhibited in the club’s annual exhibitions. He became president of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in succession to Sir James Linton in 1917; the year before he was knighted in 1918. Murray did not marry and during the whole of his life in London he occupied the same bachelor’s quarters – the studio of Millais in Langham Chambers, Portland Place.

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