Completed British 20th C, except portraits, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 18 Is this 'Le Quai Vert, Bruges', James Christie Prowett's exhibit at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1919?

In a Flemish Town: Bruges
Topic: Execution date

Is this 'Le Quai Vert, Bruges', James Christie Prowett's exhibit at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1919 as no. 370, priced at £10?

The collection comments: 'The 1935 Stirling Fine Art Association catalogue lists a painting called 'In a Flemish Town' as on loan to the exhibition. We have the painting as donated (1935) to us by Provost McCulloch (Provost until 1923). It is possible that he got the painting from the lender (Ian McNicol of Kilmarnock) somehow, and donated it to the museum at the end of the exhibition. If the Glasgow Institute had a list of buyers it would tie them together but it is probable this is the same work.'

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. A new discussion will be opened with the correct image as the basis for a discussion about the location and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts exhibition.

Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.

17 comments

E Jones,

I wonder whether the scene could have been painted slightly along the canal from the 'Gouden Handrei' area of Bruges.

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Jacinto Regalado,

It is perfectly plausible that this is a view along the Quai Vert canal in Bruges, though that does not necessarily mean it is the same picture as No. 370 in the 1919 exhibition.

I think E Jones is absolutely right. With only a bit of artist's licence and given 100 years' tidying up, it does seem to be the view looking east along Gouden-Handrei, from about No. 6 (see Google Street View). The buildings in the central part of the painting are too close in form for it be to be coincidental. So not Prowett's 1919 exhibit.

Brian Neale,

I Do believe that it is the Quai Vert in Bruges or Brugge as i have walked across the bridge in the distance several times as i live not so very far from Bruges/ Brugge

Kieran Owens,

There can be no doubt that this painting depicts the Quai Vert, in Bruges/Brugge, as the attached composite shows from a modern photograph of the place. The question posed, however, was whether this discussion's painting is the "Le Quai Vert, Bruges" that was exhibited in 1919. The answer depends on many scenes along the Quai were painted by Prowett. Has anyone seen others?

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I agree with Andrew that it's the Gouden-Handrei: apart from showing the same general 'old Bruges' building character,with similar bridges - images of the Quai Vert on Google don't match in terms of congruent detail. Moreover most of the Quai Vert images show its two nearby churches', with spire and tower:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_…trialsanderrors_-_Quai_vert,_Bruges,_Belgium,_ca._1895.jpg

General images of the Gouden-Handrei along the stretch in the painting, looking either way, include no sign of churches, and there are at least two other paintings on pinterest/flickr which take the tall house with the distinctive tall chimney rising from the canal-side facade as a focal point.

Kieran Owens,

Apologies all around (I have to learn to be less definite!!!). Andrew is absolutely correct. The composite presented does show the Gouden-Handrei / Golden Hand Quay, and not the Groene Rei / Le Quai Vert / the Green Quay. Attached is an updated version of the composite with the Google Maps street view from 2014. The question that Martin initially asked, therefore, must be answered with a no, it is not "Le Quai Vert, Bruges", as exhibited in 1919.

However, there is an interesting issue to solve on the Stirling listings on the Art UK website. Click on the following link:

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/quai-dor-bruges-127317

It leads to a listing without an image but is named as "Quai d'Or" which, when translated into Flemish, would be "Gouden-rei" or into English as "Golden Quay". Could Stirling supply an image of this "Quai d'Or" painting, to see how it compares to this "In a Flemish Town - Bruges" painting?

Thank you for all that info. I agree it is Gouden-Handrei / Golden Hand Quay. I do not know why the Quai Dor painting is on there with no image as Artuk did it but i will go through to the stores and take a quick image for comparison.

E Jones,

These images were collected last night for clarification purposes, to help illustrate between the name 'Le Quay Vert' and the actual location of the image. Thought I'd post them anyway:

When searching for images of 'Le Quai Vert', the results tend to be photographs or paintings of the same stretch of canal. As you can see from the attached black and white photograph It is also known as the 'Green Bank' or the 'Green Canal'.

The majority include the back of the 'Belfrey of Bruges' and two bridges within close proximity to one another on the left. This is in the Groenerei district of Bruges that includes the Meestraat bridge and the Almshouses on the left and traditionally the 'Quay Vert' area.

As can be seen by the attachments, although Groenerei (or Groene Rei) is approx 11mins walk from Gouden-Handrei. They are both distinctly different areas.

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Ok. we have a major issue here. The image above of Gouden-Handrei is actually 06287( not 04758)and titled Quai Main D'Or Bruges in our catalogue. This painting was donated by a Mr J Sommerville in 1959 (according to our catalogue.) but was actually in the 1928 exhibition and marked as donated to museum ( A lot of cataloguing was done in 1959 when a proper Curator arrived). The other image( attached) is 04758 ( In a Flemish Town) donated by ex provost Robert McCulloch in 1935 and which was on loan to the 1935 exhibition (see label). Art Uk will need to change the image to the correct file. It still looks like Provost McCulloch managed to buy the painting and donate it to the museum. Still cannot answer whether the Quai D'or painting is the Glasgow one as the names are not the same.

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'Quai D'Or' is presumably a mistake for Quai Main D'Or. Gouden is 'golden' and Hand is 'hand' so Quai Main D'Or is presumably the same as Gouden-Handrei, and this further confirms the location.

Let's find photographic evidence for the location of O4758 'In a Flemish Town' - although that should remain the official title.

E Jones,

This may be of use to the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum as it may help clarify the provenance.

'In a Flemish Town' (04758) was first shown in the triennial exhibition of the Stirling Art Association of 1910. It was bought by Sir Stephen Mitchell of the Boquhan Estate, Stirling (died 1930) Subsequently owned by Mr McNiccol, Kilmarnock before being bought by the Ex-Provost Robert McCulloch, Myrton, Stirling. Robert McCulloch donated the painting to Stirling Museum in 1935. I don't believe that this is the 'Quai Vert' painting either.
Source *see attached. (The Scotsman 15/4/35)



Other records of paintings exhibited of 'Bruges' after 1910.
Some of these of course could be the same ones.
Having access to the original catalogues could help with the cross referencing.

1911- Royal Scottish Academy
"An agreeably rendered canal in 'Old Bruges'
(The Scotsman 22/6/11)

1913 - Stirling Fine Art Exhibition
"..a large well composed, and capably painted picturesque view of Le Pont Flamand, Bruges
(The Scotsman 22/6/11)
Pont Flamand is approx 3 min walk from Gouden Handrei.

1914 - Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours and the Glasgow Art Club.
'...a picturesque canal ***** at Bruges'
(The Scotsman 14/2/14)

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This one appears to be still hanging unresolved as far as correct title is concerned on Art UK. As the collection has pointed out above it is their catalogue number 06287, with the correct title 'Quai Main d'Or [or, in Flemish, Gouden Handrei], Bruges' not the so far unidentified location shown in their cat. no. 04758 'In a Flemish Town', which is landscape format not upright.

It looks like a simple image-swap mistake, since the landscape format measurements, the ref. no. and the provenance on Art UK are clearly those for the latter.

I have been in discussion with Edward Stone at Art UK about changing the images, but changing them on the AD discussion will result in much confusion, so the best idea would be to start a new discussion with the correct image as the basis for a question about the RGIFA exhibition and location.