The Wood Gatherers

The Wood Gatherers

1869

John William North

(British, 1842-1924)

Watercolor and gouache with scratch-away and touches of shell gold

Support: Off-white wove paper

Sheet: 40.5 x 56.3 cm (15 15/16 x 22 3/16 in.)

Gift in memory of Helen Borowitz 2013.239

Location

Did you know?

In addition to his artistic career, John William North championed social justice for the agricultural laboring class in England, campaigning for decent rural sanitation and social housing.

Description

John William North’s watercolors of the rural landscape of Somerset unite the seemingly contradictory states of minutely rendered detail with atmospheric effects. Herbert Alexander, the artist’s biographer, described the artist’s interpretation of nature as similar to that of a poet, suggesting rather than describing: "In watercolor and oil an effect of intricate detail is found on examination to be quite illusive—multitudinous form is conjured by finding and losing it in endless hide-and-seek till the eye accepts infinity."

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