Size: 6.5″ x 8″
Signed and dated: Fedden 1988
Framing: Dutch 17th century ebonised moulding frame
Provenance: Russell Gallery, Putney, London
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 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, Osprey, painted in gouache in 1988, is a fine example of Mary Fedden’s bird painting at its best.
MARY FEDDEN. OSPREY. Available for sale – please contact us for further details.