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Sold at Auction: Arthur Wardle

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(b London, 1864; d London, 1949) British Painter. In the first two decades of this century Arthur Wardle was one of the best-known contemporary British animal painters. He portrayed an astonishing diversity of subjects with an engaging naturalism and displayed a superb command of different media. Although Wardle's reputation was made with his large mythological paintings, his most individual work was in pastel, which underwent a revival in Britain in the 1890s. Inspired by French art, many leading British artists had experimented successfully with pastel, leading to the foundation of the Pastel Society. Wardle was elected a member in 1911. It is thought that Wardle was completely self-taught. His first work was accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1880 when he was just sixteen and was titled, Study of Cattle on the banks of the Thames. His first major work to feature wild animals, Panthers Resting, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1891. From this point on, the exotic animal became a key element in many of his more important works. (Credit: Christie’s, New York, 19th Century European Art including Barbizon, Realist and French Landscape Paintings, April 22, 2004, lot 77)
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