Annie Louisa Pressland (1862-1923) was a master watercolorist specializing in gardens, flowers and still lifes. She trained at the Slade School of Art, considered the premier such school in the UK, quite an accomplishment alone for a woman in the 19th century. She exhibited at the major venues in London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, including the Society of Women Artists, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, the London Salon, and others.
In 1913, Pressland was recruited by the London Underground to make posters for Kew Gardens and other destinations of the expanding rail line. Many of these are held by the London Transport Museum. She also created postcards for Kew Gardens. One of her royal commissions came from the Countess of Warwick, for whom she did a ten-painting series of the famous gardens of Easton Lodge.
Pressland’s watercolors are always delightful and charming. She had a light touch in her depictions of the flowers she loved to paint; they come across as a rich tapestry of colors that always harmonize well with each other. This light touch enabled her to create a world where the beauty of nature takes precedence over everything. Walkways, buildings, walls and garden ornamentations are often used as props to set off her primary subject matter.
In this painting, there is no doubt that the deep blue, tall delphiniums are the stars. Pressland used a pagoda as a means of setting off these flowers and contrasting the formal structure of the building and the informal riot of delphiniums. To balance the blues, she also used blue to suggest the shrubs and trees in the background. Only the soft terracotta color of the pagoda’s roof separates these blues in this composition. It is signed in the lower right corner, Annie L. Pressland.
The watercolor is housed in a soft gold frame and a French line mount.
The condition is excellent as it has been well-cared for. The frame and mount are in excellent condition as well.
It measures 14-½ inches wide by 18-½ inches high, including the frame.
Please note: I have four watercolors of gardens by this artist that would be wonderful in a group or in pairs, as well as singly. They are the same size.