BBO_RM_75
Topic: Artist

Is this a sketch by the Glasgow artist, Alexander Mann https://bit.ly/3xeXrON, who settled in Berkshire?

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

10 comments

Peter Nahum,

It could be - it does look very like Edward Stott ARA

Tamsyn Taylor,

It looks to me more like Mann that Stott, despite the fact that Stott often painted a low sun.
The feeling for the form of the landscape is Mann, and the economy with which the flock of sheep are suggested. Stott would have painted each sheep lovingly.

I believe this painting to be by Fred Hall (1860-1948) who settled in Speen, near Newbury in Berkshire, circa 1908. His daughter Barbara sold quite a lot of work from her father's studio in the 1960s and 1970s. I note that Reading Museum acquired the painting by purchase rather than gift, possibly in 1966 if my interpretation of the format of the accession number is correct. One reason for such a purchase could be that Hall had been a 'local' artist for about forty years. I think this work may well have been painted on the Berkshire Downs.

Jacinto Regalado,

All I know about Fred Hall is what is on Art UK by him. The closest I found to this picture is below:

https://bit.ly/2SxnTnV

However, in pictures including animals outdoors, the animals are better defined or less sketchy than in the Reading picture, though that does not mean he could not have painted it.

Tim Williams,

Fred Hall was my gut reaction when I first saw this post. I catalogued this work by him a few years ago:

https://www.tooveys.com/lots/344890/fred-hall-morning-on-the-downs/

I am however torn by Peter Nahum's suggestion of Stott - I had the pleasure of cataloguing a number of his works more recently for the same saleroom. The composition and lighting effects are very evocative of his work.

There must be information in the collection's files regarding this work since some information is recorded about its purchase in 1966.

I should have explained further why I think it is by Fred Hall. I have been buying his works since the early to mid 1970s and thus have handled more than a few. Clearly it would be preferable to see the work in person but from the images I am more than 95% happy that it is by Hall. In order to confirm, I have just phoned the person who many years ago assisted Barbara Hall (the artist's daughter) with the research into and disposal of the majority of the remaining pictures by her late father and I asked him who painted the Reading picture. Without hesitation or prompting he said 'Fred Hall 100%'. His daughter wrote a dissertation on Hall.

I should have explained further why I think it is by Fred Hall. I have been buying his works since the early to mid 1970s and thus have handled more than a few. Clearly it would be preferable to see the work in person but from the images I am more than 95% happy that it is by Hall. In order to confirm, I have just phoned the person who many years ago assisted Barbara Hall (the artist's daughter) with the research into and disposal of the majority of the remaining pictures by her late father and I asked him who painted the Reading picture. Without hesitation or prompting he said 'Fred Hall 100%'. His daughter wrote a dissertation on Hall.

The Collection have commented: 'We hold information about many local artists but none about Fred Hall. Nor do we have any works recorded as by him or acquired from anyone who might be connected with him. We find the possibility that Alexander Mann is the painter of our piece quite compelling not just because of the style/imagery but because he lived for a while at East Hagbourne and then Blewberry and we think that the farm being described may still exist on the Oxfordshire hills close to Blewberry. We have been meaning to take a road trip to check but haven’t yet. Of course, even if we can identify the farm this does not preclude Fred Hall from being the artist and I would like to see more of his oil sketches. It is also a shame that we cannot afford to have our little oil painting cleaned at the moment.'

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