I know; this painting is signed “R. Fenson.” And the nameplate gives the artist’s name as R. Fenson. This, however, was a pseudonym used by Henry Maidment (1854? –fl. 1889-1914). The use of pseudonyms was a device long used by many artists to get around being tied down by contracts with galleries.
Maidment was an artist of considerable skill who traveled widely across the South of England and Wales finding idyllic scenes to capture. In an age of rapid industrialization, the desire for depictions of idealized landscapes among those beginning to afford such things was great. Obviously a man with a keen business sense, Maidment satisfied the demands for his works by signing them with another name. (“A. Wynne” is another of the names he took on.) This painting is oil on canvas and a perfect example of the artist’s work.
Here we have one of the more classic and traditional types of paintings that the artist was known for. The small cottage was set in a picturesque landscape with a pond on one side and a garden on the other. In the background is a stream with hills beyond. The idyllic scene was painted at sunset to capture the pinks mixing in with grays and blues.
The painting is housed in its original wood and gesso frame, complete with a nameplate of the entitled work, ”A Pastoral Landscape,” and the artist’s pseudonym, Robert Fenson, and the dates he was known to have been working,1889-1914. The painting is also signed “R. Fenson” and dated ’97. This wonderful romantic and charming landscape was painted at the height of the artist’s career.
The condition of the painting is excellent, given its age. It may have been given a light clean at some point. The condition of the frame overall is excellent, though a few inches of gesso work are missing along the bottom edge. However, because of the ornateness of the frame and the fact that it is exceptionally deep, this missing gesso is not very noticeable.
It measures 18-1/8 inches wide by 14-1/4 inches high, including the frame.