Study for 'The Holy Family', ca. 1917
Edward Stott ARA (1859 - 1918)
RA Collection: Art
This pastel drawing is a study of a young woman with her eyes cast down, the edge of her black cloak indicated on her shoulder. It relates to the depiction of a mother in two paintings, The Holy Family and Her Thoughts were her Children. The former exists in several versions, one of which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1917. Reproductions of the different versions can be seen in the Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Edward Stott was born in Rochdale, near Manchester, in 1859 and studied in Paris under Alexandre Cabanel and Carolus-Duran. During these formative years he was impressed by the work of French painters like Jules Bastien-Lepage, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Jean-François Millet, and began his career employing a 'plein air' style similar to that of George Clausen, Claude Monet and Henry Herbert La Thangue. Based in Amberley, West Sussex, from 1889 onwards, Stott concentrated on naturalistic depictions of rural life, which he would compose in a number of drawings before finishing the final painting in the studio. Stott frequently used pastel, a medium he valued for its spontaneity and hazy effects.
This pastel was bequeathed to the Royal Academy by the artist Carel Weight, who was an avid collector of Stott's work.
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