Mary Fedden (1915 – 2012)

The Tabac Jar



26 x 31 cm

Signed lower right and numbered 156/550 lower left, both in pencil; signed and dated 1996 in the plate.

A typically Fedden still life: a fruit bowl, jug of utensils, and vine of tomatoes on a gingham tablecloth. Beyond the table, a harbour scene including whitewashed buildings, sailing boat, and lighthouse. The form of the objects in her still life composition, and her lilting use of perspective, are immediately recognisable as Fedden’s style.

Mary Fedden was a Bristol-born artist who studied at the Slade School of Art in London in the 1930s. She painted sets for ballets at Sadlers Wells, then went on to teach art and paint portraits in Bristol. During the war she served in the Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service, and then worked in London as a stage painter for the Arts Theatre. In 1944 she went overseas as a driver for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.

In 1946 she resumed easel painting and held her first exhibition at the Mansard Gallery in Heal’s Department Store in 1947. In 1951 she married the artist Julian Trevelyan, and the couple travelled the world together. She began to teach painting at the Royal Academy in the late 1950s and was elected RA in 1992. She lived and worked in her Durham Wharf studio from 1949 until her death.

Condition: generally very good; framed.

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