The Sundial, Henley-on-Thames

by George Henry


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 24 x 22 inches (61 x 55.9 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘George Henry’ (lower left)
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas



    Your Message


    This painting, from leading member of the Glasgow Boys, George Henry, depicts an elegant woman standing at a sundial in a stylistically painted garden. She stands opposite a Japanese lady in traditional clothing, who looks down at the two dogs in the foreground. The painting is representative of the elements that Henry learned throughout his career as a painter. The loose, expressive brushstrokes indicate the influence of the Impressionists upon Henry’s style. Similarly, the naturalistic use of colour and the idyllic subject matter demonstrate the departure from the saccharine Victorian style of painting, from which Henry and his group sought to remove themselves.

    The presence of the Japanese woman in the painting indicates that this was made during or after Henry’s period in Japan, from 1893-4, an experience which influenced his work greatly. Henry and fellow artist Edward Hornel set off for Japan, a trip financed by Alexander Reid, the Glasgow dealer, and William Burrell, the collector. During their 19 months away both Henry and Hornel produced some of their finest work. Henry’s Japanese period is now mostly represented by watercolours, as many of his oils, which were not quite dry, stuck together and were destroyed on the journey home.

    Private collection, United Kingdom

    Buy with confidence: our assurance to you

    Professional Associations

    We have built up a strong reputation for the quality of the paintings, drawings and sculpture that we curate, exhibit and sell. Our professional associations with bodies such as The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) and the Association of Art & Antique Dealers (LAPADA) are as a result of our reputation for integrity, our wide knowledge of fine arts and the high quality of our stock. Our business standards and expertise are reviewed regularly to adhere vigorously to enforced Codes. Our memberships and commitment to its Code of Conducts gives our buyers confidence when purchasing a work from us.


    Condition reports and certificates of authenticity vary in their nature by artwork, for more information on your pieces of interest, please enquire with the gallery.

    Artwork images

    We take pride in the attention we give to our images of the artworks for purchase and invest in these to ensure outputs are aligned as closely as possible to the item in reality. We do not apply filters or modify images, we provide high-quality images to reflect the high quality of our artworks.

    Your purchase process

    Payment processing – You can be assured that payments are securely processed through Stripe’s trusted payment gateway.

    The Trinity House promise to you

    Shipping and packaging

    Shipping and packaging requirements are assessed per piece to ensure the most suitable protection for the artwork. Trinity House will therefore call following purchase to agree the recommendations and costs.

    Our After Sales services

    We offer the following services which we will be happy to discuss with you following your purchase, alternatively, you can enquire for more information.


    We offer insurance appraisals to protect your prised artwork and help you find the right cover and policy for you.


    We are able to advise on framing and have access to every type and style to suit any artistic period or room setting.


    The nature of the materials involved in a painting mean that on occasion some pieces are susceptible to movement and the effects of natural ageing. We are able to provide advice on practical measures to conserve the original condition of a piece and have relationships with restorers and framers to offer you a range of services to meet your needs.

    Born in Ayrshire, George Henry was born into the Hendry family, and as an adult removed the ‘D’ from his name. In 1881 Henry joined the painters James Guthrie, Edward Walton and Joseph Crawhall to paint at Brig O Turk in the Trossachs. This group formed the ‘Glasgow Boys.’ Henry is probably best known for his influence on the group; encouraging them into a richer use of colour and slightly more decorative style.

    In the 1880’s the Glasgow Boys were at the forefront in Scottish art, and they marked the beginning of modernism in Scotland. It was during this time that the Edinburgh based artists, Fergusson, Peploe and Cadell, known as the Scottish Colourists became aware of the Glasgow Boys. Both parties had a growing disillusionment with the traditional academic painting, something that was incredibly popular in Edinburgh at the time. Both groups preferred to paint directly onto the canvas, en plein air, and looked to Paris and the art of the Impressionists to infuse light and light into their work.

    Henry worked with the Glasgow Boys consistently throughout his career, but in 1883 he lived at Eyemouth near Cockburnspath, with Guthrie. Guthrie and his impressionistic ‘Square brush’ technique influenced Henry’s work at this stage. In 1884 Henry returned to Cockburnspath along with Walton, Guthrie and Arthur Melville and his artistic style progressed greatly. His principal work that summer was ‘Playmates,’ painted mostly ‘en plein-air,’ in a manner learnt from the emerging Impressionist movement.

    In 1885 Henry met Edward Hornel who persuaded him to paint in Galloway, and in the following year they painted together at Kirkcudbright. His time in Kirkcudbright was incredibly formative; the surrounding landscape suited Henry and he was to paint many of his most successful works there.

    He was working in watercolour as well as oil, a medium in which he was naturally gifted. In 1889 Henry painted A Galloway Landscape, which came to epitomise and define the style of the Kirkcudbright group; in particular an emphasis upon rich colour and a regard for decorative patterns of a flattened picture plane. The painting represents the most progressive aspect of the Glasgow School, and although Henry had no contact with France, it approaches the work of the Pont-Aven group. In 1890 Hornel and Henry worked together on The Druids in which incised gesso and overlaid gold provide a strong decorative element, while Celtic mythology provides the subject.

    During the 1890s Henry painted fine portraits both in oil and watercolour, executed with great panache and a strong use of colour. His paintings maintained a Japanese flavour for the rest of his career. After 1900, he settled in London, which would be his home for the rest of his life, painting portraits and figures in landscape. He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1902 and an associate of the Royal Academy in London.

    You may also like…

    Go to Top