Horace Mann Livens (1862-1936):
Framed (ref: 86)
Signed and dated
Oil on board, 10 1/4 x 18 1/8 in. (26 x 46.3 cm.)
Provenance: The Judge Evans Collection; Count William de Belleroche;
Exhibited: London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Twenty Years of British Art, 1910; The Goupil Gallery, June 1918 (86), The Judge Evans Collection.
Livens referred to himself as a 'painter of poultry', titling his etched self-portrait of 1905 'The Old Fowler'. In his depiction of fowl he was greatly influenced by Japanese prints and paintings with ' their suggestion of space, as well as exquisite colour, being a constant guide' (letter to Wedmore, quoted Belgrave Gallery, Horace Mann Livens, 1978, p. 7). According to his Times obituary, Livens, 'who once enjoyed a singular reputation. did not, like the late Joseph Crawhall, subject his cocks and hens to the discipline of style, but painted them more or less naturalistically. with special attention to their response to the effects of light and atmosphere.' A painting of the same subject, size and date is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada (acquired 1912). Judge Evans, to whom this work belonged, was an important collector in the early decades of the twentieth century, especially as a patron of Sickert and the Camden Town Group.
We are grateful to Peyton Skipwith for his assistance.