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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Vegetable garden at Strawberry Cottage, spring, c.1938 [HMO 794]

SKU: 6328
Signed ‚Äö√Ñ√≤ED‚Äö√Ñ√¥ 
Oil on canvas,
18 ¼ x 20 ¼ in. (46.3 x 51.2cm)

Presentation:
framed

Size:
Height – 46.3cm x Width – 51.2cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Roger Folley; Alasdair Dunbar; Hammer Mill Oast Collection
Exhibited: Evelyn Dunbar – The Lost Works, Pallant House Gallery, October 2015 – February 2016, cat 26.

Literature: Evelyn Dunbar – The Lost Works, Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2015, cat. 26, page 68.


Strawberry Cottage, Hurst Green (near Tunbridge Wells), was the occasional home of Dunbar’s aunt Clara Cowling.


The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in the garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Gurney (1858-1932)
Evelyn Dunbar clearly shared Dorothy Gurney’s vision and sentiments regarding
gardens. In one of Dunbar’s many letters to Mahoney she described how her little patch
is beginning to form itself (with our help) into a lovely place, I think, and with all the
new things, will be a perfect heaven of varied greys and greens and aromatic odours.’
(September 1933). Painting and gardening were twin passions to her and in pursuit of
both she exercised a strong degree of control laying out her garden with the same care
and precision she exercised when laying out her palette.
Although born in Reading her formative years from the age of six, when the family
moved to Rochester, were spent in Kent, the Garden of England’ as it is often described.
Gardens, hop-fields, orchards, the rich abundance of the Kentish landscape, is at the
core of her work. While others might be moved by the Highland landscape of Scotland
or the rugged beauty of the Alps, her heart remained firmly in the Garden of England’.
Her identification with the homely man-made landscape of this corner of England was
as much spiritual as visual and needed to be assisted by the hard graft of hedging,
trenching, mulching, carting and pruning as well as celebrated in paint. One of her
earliest exhibited paintings was entitled Gardening, (present whereabouts unknown)
shown at the Goupil Gallery in 1931 and singled out by the critic of The Scotsman who
described it as a most sensitive study of the Slade School type, of figures in a garden
delicately drawn and thoroughly ‚Äúfelt‚Äù.’ (The Scotsman, 11 June 1931) Such a description
could equally be applied to the study of The Dunbar Family in the Garden at the Cedars
(CAT 2 and 3), the Brockley sketch for The Woodcutter and the Bees (CAT 25) or even
the slightly later Land Workers at Strood (CAT 31) in the present exhibition. Her vision
was always that of a comfortable rural middle-class domesticity as far removed from
the peasant life that had inspired rural painters of the previous generation such as
George Clausen (1852-1944) and Edward Stott (1859-1918) as from the urban scenes
of Herkomer (1849-1914) or Mulready (1844-1904). Unlike her wartime paintings of the
Women’s Land Army the men and women ‚Äì frequently members of her own family ‚Äì who
inhabit these landscapes and work these gardens are at home and comfortable with
their surroundings.
Her acuity of observation is equally apparent in her landscape as in her figure subjects,
trees are individual not generic, their deformations lovingly recorded: the apple trees
growing in the orchard in the study of her mother gardening (CAT 27) are just as much
portraits as Sleeping Beauty (CAT 12) the ten minute sketch of her father. In contrast
to the immediacy of these oil sketches her large panoramic study of the landscape
at Hilly Fields (CAT 23) spread over three sheets of paper has the awesome grasp
of form that one associates more readily with eighteenth-century landscapists such
as Francis Towne (1739/40-1816) and the Italian Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1754-1821)
whose panoramas were so prized by the Grand Tourists. She had a countrywoman’s
eye for the nuances of landscape, of recession, cloud formations and weather which
informs her slightest studies and gives authority to her major works, most particularly
A Land Girl and the Bail Bull (FIG 19).”
Peyton Skipwith.

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THE ARTIST

Evelyn Dunbar
Evelyn
Dunbar
1906 - 1960

Evelyn Dunbar studied at Rochester School of Art, Chelsea School
of Art (1927) and the Royal College of Art (1929’33). She painted
murals from 1933 -36 at Brockley School, a collaboration with her
RCA tutor (and lover) Cyril Mahoney (1903’1968) and in 1937
they wrote and illustrated together Gardeners’ Choice. 

In 1938 she set up the Blue Gallery in Rochester, exhibiting her
own work alongside that of Edward Bawden (1903’1989) and
Barnett Freedman (1901’1958) and others. In 1940 she was
appointed an official war artist, becoming the only woman (amongst
36 men) to be given a full time salaried position by the WAAC. 

She held her only solo exhibition at Withersdane, Wye, Kent
in 1953, although the WAAC included numerous pieces in touring
exhibitions ranging from Aberdeen Art Gallery to MOMA, New York. 

A posthumous exhibition was held in 2006 at St Barbe
Museum and Art Gallery, and in 2015 Liss Llewellyn mounted a
major retrospective of her recently rediscovered studio at Pallant
House Gallery. 

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Pruning in the Orchard

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Royal College of Art Sketch Club Annual Summer Camp, 1930

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Sketch for Opportunity, 1936

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Schematic plan for An English Calendar, 1938

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Boys at play, 1933

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Seated Nude Study

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Letterhead proof for The Children’s Shop c. 1950

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Study for a Christmas card design, 1942 [HMO 340]

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Study of Dipsacus fullonum (common teasel)

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Fashion studies

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House and Garden – Greetings to you!

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Basket with Fruit and Flowers (2)

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Drawing of Carved Oak Buffet, 19th Century

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Illustration 2 for A Farm Dictionary

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Figures for Farm Dictionary Illustration

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Woman Sewing c.1925

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Sketches of clarinets

£280.00

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Sketch for Bedtime, c.1926

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Story Time, c.1926

£750.00

SKU: 11627

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Fancy Dress Ball, 1926

£1,475.00

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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Service! c. 1924

£255.00

SKU: 11623

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Laddie, The Intruder, c.1923

£900.00

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What fools…c.1926

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Reserved
SKU: 11615

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Unidentified Woman with Parrot Brooch, c. 1927
SKU: 11613

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Reclining Male Nude Study

£490.00

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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Head and Shoulders Male Study

£475.00

SKU: 11609

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April Fool!

£480.00

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Sacred Music on Sundays’

£275.00

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Farm Illustration 4

£375.00

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Landscape 1

£700.00

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Landscape 2

£975.00

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Artist Sketching

£700.00

SKU: 11514

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View over fields

£975.00

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View across farm buildings

£1,375.00

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Girl Playing the Banjo

£525.00

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Design for a Christmas Card

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Sketch for An English Calendar 1938

£495.00

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Unidentified study, c.1956

£775.00

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Florence Dunbar Peeling Apples c.1922

£300.00

SKU: 11501

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Christmas Tree in a pot

£350.00

Private
SKU: 11503

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Speciality Dancers
SKU: 11506

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Sketches and motifs for a Christmas card design, 1946

£575.00

SKU: 11507

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Illustration for A Farm Dictionary

£450.00

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Unidentified Design

£250.00

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Seated Nude Study 2

£350.00

SKU: 11469

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Nude Study of Woman Sitting

£600.00

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Nude Study with Hand on Hip

£200.00

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Seated Nude Study 1

£275.00

SKU: 11477

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Sketches of two Land Girls featuring in Men Stooking and Girls Learning to Stook. Pencil 1940

£375.00

SKU: 11478

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Sketches for the personification of April for the Country Life 1938 Gardener’s Diary.

£580.00

SKU: 11480

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Portrait

£375.00

SKU: 11482

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Study for Seated Woman reading

£250.00

SKU: 11483

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Study for Seated Woman

£250.00

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Sketch for Joseph in Prison, 1947

£600.00

SKU: 11460

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Various Figure Studies including a Ballerina

£500.00

SKU: 11461

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Nude Study with artist at work

£350.00

SKU: 11462

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Nude Figure Studies

£300.00

SKU: 11464

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Chalk Nude Study with Sketching Figure in Foreground

£300.00

SKU: 11466

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Sitting Nude Study with Umbrella

£200.00

SKU: 11448

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Wheelbarrow Study

£280.00

SKU: 11452

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Studies for A Farm Dictionary (Evans Brothers, London) 1953

£365.00

SKU: 11453

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Farming Sketch

£375.00

SKU: 11455

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Plant studies, probably in connection with Country Life 1938 Gardener’s Diary.

£225.00

SKU: 11456

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Flowers study

£195.00

SKU: 11459

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Flower Study

£380.00

SKU: 11440

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Portrait sketch of unidentified WAAF officer, 1944

£800.00

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Studies for Standing by on Train 21.

£350.00

SKU: 11443

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The horse gin

£325.00

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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Farmer with Shoulder Yolk – Study for Farm Dictionary

£325.00

SKU: 11445

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Prune’

£300.00

SKU: 11447

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

‘Bottle, Bowl, Box’

£285.00

SKU: 11103

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Pencil sketch for Portrait of an Airwoman, 1944

£1,500.00

SKU: 11095

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Portrait of a Musician, 1924

£995.00

SKU: 11096

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Ring-a-ring-a-rosies

£880.00

SKU: 11086

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Trenching or double-digging, 1938

£525.00

SKU: 11088

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

A diagrammatic explanation of trenching or double digging

£1,750.00

SKU: 11089

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Cape Capers!

£350.00

SKU: 11075

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

The Harvest of Hay, 1954

£1,700.00

SKU: 11074

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Nude standing with hand on thigh

£850.00

SKU: 11066

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Portrait Sketch of a Friend

£300.00

SKU: 11068

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Four studies of a nude standing leaning against a partition

£975.00

SKU: 11064

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Hop-picking, sketch for Farming Weekly, March 1954.

£780.00

SKU: 11057

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Study of a WAAF at RAF Gravesend, 1944

£975.00

SKU: 11050

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Sketches of men and women involved in various activities, of unknown purpose or destination

£500.00

SKU: 11047

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Sheet of unconnected sketches. Pencil, crayon c.1954

£2,000.00

SKU: 11049

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Potato Harvesting, 1954

£785.00

SKU: 10457

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

The garden of The Elms, 1956

£1,450.00

SKU: 10456

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

The Garden at the Elms, Winter, 1956

£1,950.00

SKU: 10242

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Study of landworkers at Sparsholt

£1,000.00

SKU: 10243

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Life Class with full-length female nude in profile

£750.00

SKU: 10241

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Study for Gardener’s Choice: Himalayan Primrose with vignettes of a gardener to the margins

£975.00

SKU: 10240

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Sketches of children in various poses.

£1,100.00

SKU: 10233

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

December for the Country Life 1938 Gardener’s Diary

£2,350.00

SKU: 10234

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Study for July, preparatory drawing for Gardener’s DIary

£1,250.00

SKU: 10226

Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Preliminary study for Mercatora

£385.00

SKU: 10227

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Sheet of African figures

£745.00