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Edward Atkinson Hornel
Feeding the Swans - Scottish Impressionist 1911 art 'Glasgow Boy' oil portrait




This captivating Scottish Impressionist Edwardian Kirkcudbright School exhibited portrait oil painting is by noted Glasgow Boy artist Edward Atkinson Hornel. Painted in 1911 it was exhibited the following year at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, entitled Feeding the Swans. In the foreground stands a young girl holding out her apron as she stands on the edge of a lily pond with several swans near by. Pink blossom hangs down from the boughs of trees edging the pond beneath a blue sky. The palette of pinks and blues with the white of her apron and the swans is just superb. The whole composition has a magical air, making this an excellent example of Hornel's artistry. A stunning painting in remarkable untouched pristine condition by a key Glasgow Boy artist in his prime. Signed and dated 1911 lower right. Provenance. Exhibited at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1912, No. 40 Entitled Feeding the Swans. Glasgow Museums stamp verso. George Davidson label verso with title and artist. Condition. Oil on canvas. Unframed size is 24 inches by 20 inches and in excellent condition. Frame. Housed in an ornate gilt swept frame. Framed size is 34 inches 30 inches and in good condition. Edward Atkinson Hornel 1864–1933 was a Scottish painter of landscapes, flowers, and foliage, with children. He was a cousin of James Hornell. He was born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria Australia, on 17 July 1864 of Scottish parents, and he was brought up and lived practically all his life in Scotland after his family moved back to Kirkcudbright in 1866 when he was two years old. He studied for three years at the Trustees Academy art school at Edinburgh 1880-1883, and for two years at the Academy in Antwerp in the company of W S MacGeorge under Professor Verlat 1883-85. Returning from Antwerp in 1885, he met George Henry and associated himself with the Glasgow Boys. The two shared a studio in Glasgow and painted along side each other in Kirkcudbright. Their friendship was to influence both of them for the rest of their lives. Hornel and Henry collaborated upon The Druids Bringing in the Mistletoe (1890), a procession of druidic priests bringing in the sacred mistletoe, gorgeous with polychrome and gold. The two worked side by side to achieve decorative splendor of color, Hornel boldly and freely employing texture effects produced by loading and scraping, roughening, smoothing, and staining. In 1893–94 the two artists spent a year and a half in Japan, where Hornel learned much about decorative design and spacing. In 1895 he contributed the illustration Madame Chrysanthème to the Autumn volume of The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal published by Patrick Geddes and Colleagues in Edinburgh. Towards the close of the nineties Hornel's colors, while preserving their glow and richness, became more refined and more atmospheric, and his drawing more naturalistic, combining sensuous appeal with emotional and poetic significance. In 1901 he declined election to the Royal Scottish Academy. A member of Glasgow Art Club, Hornel exhibited in the club's annual exhibitions. In 1901 he acquired Broughton House, a townhouse and garden in Kirkcudbright, which was his main residence for the rest of his life with his sister Elizabeth. There he made several modifications to the house and designed the garden taking inspiration from his travels in Japan. He also made an addition of a gallery for his paintings. On his death the house and library were donated for the benefit of the citizens and Broughton House is now administered by the National Trust for Scotland. There are examples of his works in the museums of Aberdeen, Buffalo, Bradford, St. Louis, Toronto, Montreal, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Hull, Bath, and Liverpool. Elected ROI 1904, having declined ARSA 1901. A member of the Society of 25 Artists. Exhibited Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Academy, Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Glasgow Institute 103, Aberdeen Artists' Society and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 43.


  • Creator
    Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864-1933, Scottish)
  • Creation Year
  • Dimensions
    Height: 34 in. (86.36 cm)Width: 30 in. (76.2 cm)Depth: 2 in. (5.08 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU85317860472

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    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
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