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A Calm Summer Day (Alkmaar, Late Afternoon)



Edward Seago (1910-1974)
A Calm Summer Day (Alkmaar, Late Afternoon)
oil on canvas
AGLC 371 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Or iginally from Norwich, England, Edward Seago was, for the most part, an autodidact. A great traveller (as a young man he followed the peregrinations of a circus), he revealed himself to be a landscape artist in the tradition of the traveller-artists who were so admired by the 18thcentury British aristocracy. However, he did not confine himself to this genre, having also painted figures, portraits and dancers, as well as still lifes. His pictorial approach places him clearly in the wake of Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Alfred Sisley (1839-1899). Seago soon won public acclaim, thanks to his numerous exhibitions. He is particularly well known as an artist who was a favourite of the British royal family.  

An inscription on the frame, probably in the hand of the artist, identifies the subject of this landscape as a view of the town of Alkmaar and points out that the time is ‘late afternoon’. This old town in northern Holland, built along its canals and identified by the silhouette of an emblematic windmill, was frequently depicted by Seago. This intensely luminous depiction of Alkmaar, an attentive snapshot view captured at a chosen moment, rendered by an instinctive and agile brush and granting pride of place to the depiction of the sky and the river, is the perfect expression of an artistic personality that prolonged, very late into the 20th century, the Impressionist experience.

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About the artist

He was essentially a self-taught artist and prolonged Impressionism late into the 20th century. Influenced by the style of the Norwich School, he travelled around the world, creating landscapes and seascapes, in oil and watercolour; he also painted portraits, dancers, circus performers and still lifes. His works were wildly popular in his day, not least with the British royal family.

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