This is a very charming and atmospheric early 20th-century watercolour and gouache study of the beach at Newquay in Cornwall by the celebrated West Country artist, F,J. Widery; as signed in the bottom left-hand corner.
It has a label on the back which states that the title of the work is "Footsteps in the Sand".
It is certainly a very pretty little study that captures the hazy sunlight falling on the pale sands of a Cornish beach. The scene shows the beach in the foreground and in the distance there are waves lapping onto the shore. A rocky promontory or headland is seen to the left and little seagulls swoop to the shoreline to pick up little fish near the edge of the water. This work is typical of the artist's beach scenes.
The restricted palette used by the artist features a selection of subtle pastel tones - and this perfectly captures the soft milky light falling on the scene. It is certainly a very sensitively painted work.
It is nicely presented and with a double window mount - the interior one is a beige shade to pick up the tones in the sands. The frame is a nice quality one with gold-tone wooden moulding. It is ready just to hang on your wall. It would look lovely hanging in a seaside cottage, or little bed and breakfast, or hotel at Newquay.
Dimensions. The image size is 25 x 35 cm. The frame size is 42 x 52 cm.
HISTORY: Frederick John Widgery 1861 – 1942. The artist was the younger son of the artist William Widgery (1826-1893). He studied at the Exeter School of Art, then subsequently at the South Kensington School in London, He completed his studies in Antwerp where he was taught by Charles Verlat and subsequently with Hubert von Herkomer in Bushey.
He became very active in municipal affairs and served as Mayor of Exeter from 1903 to 1904. He was also chairman of many committees and a captain in the 'Volunteers. He exhibited five works at the Royal Academy in London.
Widgery is noted for his fine moorland scenes around his native Exeter and also for his carefully observed views of the Cornish coastline – often painted directly from life “en plein air”.
A granite cross was erected on Brat Tor by his father William to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee and has subsequently been renamed Widgery Cross.
Widgery’s watercolours are very popular in his native Cornwall and keenly sought after there. His works are often sold through local galleries for four-figure sums. They also appear in prestigious auction houses such as Bonhams and Christies. My watercolour is very typical of his Cornish beach studies – and is sold in excellent antique condition.
It is sold framed, as seen in my photographs. It was a bit tricky to photograph his work through the frame glass – so pardon any white reflections which might appear on my photos.
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