Size: 24″ x 20″
Signed and dated: Fedden ’00
Framing: A fine black and gilt moulding frame (modern)
Provenance: Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames
Birds was a common theme in Mary Fedden’s paintings, they feature over and again, whether incidental or as the main focal point of the work.
In 1999, Mary Fedden published Birds, a beautiful little book showcasing a wonderful collection of original watercolours inspired by one of her favourite subjects. In the foreword to the book, Mel Gooding, author and critic, wrote “Mary Fedden’s birds are not the birds of the guide book and handbook, schematically delineated for use in the identification, or those of the great ornithological albums, such as those of Audubon, Gould or Thorburn, whose subjects are described with the definitive accuracy of scientist and the grace of the gifted enthusiast. They are the birds of her life, casually seen and enjoyed in gardens and parks, encountered with joy on a holiday walk by the sea, glimpsed from a window on the familiar river and its muddy banks, or found with unabashed pleasure in guidebooks or albums. They are, in the true sense of the word, appropriated: that is to say, taken out of nature and of art, and made her own. Their nests and eggs were never seen but in these paintings. Fedden’s birds are never symbolic, and only in the most general sense emblematic, as, inescapably, all birds are in our culture. They spring to a poetic life of their own in her paintings, and I know of no one who knows and loves birds in nature, amongst the most dedicated of birdwatchers and the most assiduous of ornithologists, who does not love Fedden’s birds for their quickness and quiddity in her art.”
This painting Golden Orioles, painted in oils in 2000, can be directly compared to the Golden Orioles watercolour on page 15 of the Birds book, although of course this splendid version is on a much grander scale.
MARY FEDDEN. GOLDEN ORIOLES. Available for sale – please contact us for further details.