John Aldridge RA (1905 – 1983)

Still Life Painted at El Porche, Deja, Majorca 1932

Oil on Board

74x62cm

Signed ‘John Aldridge’ lower right and inscribed to reverse ‘Painted in El Porche, Deya, 1932’.

Aldridge read Greats at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and then moved to London in 1928 and taught himself to paint. From 1931 to 1933 he exhibited with the Seven and Five Society at the Leicester Galleries and in 1934 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale. At this time he began his life-long association with the poet Robert Graves and the poets and artists who centred themselves on him in the village of Deia in Majorca.

In 1933 he moved to Place House in Great Bardfield with his cats. He became a friend of his neighbour Edward Bawden, and the two collaborated during the 1930s on Bardfield wallpapers, distributed by Cole & Sons. During the War, Aldridge served in the Intelligence Corps, interpreting aerial photographs. Following the war he returned to Great Bardfield and painted scenes of the Essex countryside, and also of Majorca. By this period, his early association with the avant garde of British art had been lost; today, his rural scenes are very popular but arguably lack the complexity of his earlier works, such as this contemplative still life.

His art is in major public collections such as the Tate, the British Council, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden, which specialises in East Anglian pictures, has a significant holding of his work.

Condition: generally very good. Distressed frame with occasional loss, and hardboard substrate bowed.