Saturday in the Museum with Henry Herbert

Image: Henry Herbert La Thangue, A Sussex Cider Press (1898).

After taking Labor Day weekend off we return with our art post with one that focuses on manual labor of the season.

Henry Herbert La Thangue was born outside of London in 1859. He studied at the Royal Academy and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. As a young man he described the Academy as “the diseased root from which other evils grow.” He was a founder of the New English Art Club that advocated the ideals of French plein-air painting. Like many a young man, his harsh words would later soften, as would the position of the Academy.

The picture above was painted in 1898, the year he was accepted into the Academy. “[Sargent and La Thangue’s] careers had not been dependant upon the favours of academicians, and to some extent, they were accepted with reluctance. This was to become a chorus in 1898, and in other reviews there was a call for genuine works of art, like those of La Thangue and his contemporaries, to be separated from the general mêlée of popular potboilers involving babies, cavaliers and old soldiers.” This work was one highlighted that year for praise. One publication writing, “only in A Sussex Cider Press do we find him quite at his best. There is here much of the sentiment of Millet, but all the silveriness is lost in a brownish atmosphere composed of a cloud of carefully-marshalled but perfectly visible touches. Such is the impression which the beholder carries away.” The painting appears to be in private hands.

1898 would also mark the year he started to travel extensively to Provence and Italy to paint. He returned to England at the end of the 1920s, making Sussex his home but dying in London at 20 Wimpole Street, Marylebone, on 21 December 1929.


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