John Arnesby Brown

England, b.1866, d.1955

On the Uplands

  • Presented by the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1932
  • Oil on canvas
  • 710 x 915mm
  • 69/494
  • c. 1910

In On the Uplands John Arnesby Brown has used his favourite subject, cattle on rolling Norfolk hills, to full advantage. He has captured a sense of ‘rural arcadia’ removed from the modern industrialised world of cities.

Brown’s technique is very painterly. He has applied oil paint thickly and with broad strokes and occasionally he has used a palette knife to enhance the finished result. The over-all appearance is sweeping and vigorous.

Brown was born in Nottingham, England. He trained there and, later, at the Herkomer Art School in Bushey. During the 1890’s Brown moved to St Ives where he concentrated on producing his rural scenes, which were well received in their day. Brown began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1890 and was elected as a Royal Academician in 1915. He received a knighthood in 1938.

earlier labels about this work
  • Specialising in paintings of animals and the open countryside, Arnesby Brown worked with a subject very popular at the end of the 19th century with the English public. Painting outdoors in the summer and autumn, he would, in his St Ives studio, work up his 'plein air' studies into finished compositions during the winter months. The rolling hills and open skies of Norfolk provided much of Arnesby Brown's material with the dramatic skies playing an important role in his compositions. The bold brush work, sometimes augmented by the application of the paint directly from the palette knife, is used to good effect as the patches of thick impasto capture the effect of the sunlight on the upland meadow and on the backs of the patient cattle. (Label date unknown)