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Sir Frank Brangwyn RA (1867-1956)
From My Window at Ditchling, c.1925

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In 1917 Brangwyn and his wife, Lucy, retreated to Ditchling in Sussex to escape the bombing in London and the following year they bought The Jointure. The house had been given to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce settlement and the legal term ‘jointure’ refers to lands jointly owned by husband and wife after a separation. The Brangwyns spent most of their time there until 1920, when they returned to London and made the Sussex house their holiday base. After Lucy’s death in 1924 Brangwyn moved back to The Jointure and remained there until his own death in 1956. He bought the adjoining cottage and knocked out the walls of the upper floors to create one huge studio.

Out of my Window was acquired from Brangwyn by Count William de Belleroche, the son of the artist Count Albert de Belleroche. He formed a large collection of the artist’s work over twenty-six years of friendship and was instrumental in arranging the Royal Academy’s Retrospective of Brangwyn’s work in 1952, to which he loaned the present work. In the foreword to the exhibition catalogue he wrote, ‘My collection of Brangwyn pictures was formed from the age of eighteen, through hero worship and determination, constant persevering, admiration and life-long devotion. Many pictures in my collection, with the exception of one or two unfinished sketches, were acquired through hard deals with the artist. Brangwyn had a mania all his life for what he called “swopping”’.

De Belleroche arranged a further retrospective, London, Fine Art Society, Memorial Exhibition of Paintings and Watercolours from the Collection of Count William de Belleroche, June 1958, although the present work is not listed in the catalogue. He wrote two biographies, Brangwyn Talks (London, 1944), Brangwyn’s Pilgrimage (London, 1948) and prepared a further book, Twenty six years with Brangwyn.

De Belleroche provided a ‘certificate’ for Out of my Window in the form of a letter, for an unnamed purchaser, dated 31 October 1955. It records that the Count had acquired the painting directly from the artist and details its exhibition history and literature references. He also records that Brangwyn had kept the old Spanish carved frame specifically for the picture.
 

FInd out more about From My Window at Ditchling in the Stories Behind the Collection series of short films, available on the Jerwood Gallery Channel

Medium

oil on board

Dimensions

66 x 73.6 cm (26 x 29 in)

Provenance

Count William de Belleroche, by whom acquired from the artist (by 1951).

Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London 30 June 1993, lot 15, where purchased.

Exhibited

London, Art Exhibitions Bureau, The De Belleroche Collection.

Worthing, Art Gallery, Brangwyn, July - September 1951, no. 24 as ‘Out of my window [The Jointure]’ (lent by de Belleroche).

London, Royal Academy Diploma Galleries, Sir Frank Brangwyn R.A. Retrospective, October-November 1952, no. 412: this exhibition toured to Brighton, Art Gallery; and Hull, Ferens Art Gallery.

Literature

The Sketch, 24 October 1951, illustrated in colour.

V. Galloway, The Oil and Mural Paintings of Sir Frank Brangwyn, R.A., 1867-1856, Leigh-on-Sea, 1962, p. 29, no. 182.

M. Sturgis, Jerwood, The Foundation and the Founders, Norwich, 2009, p. 53, illustrated.

Collection Catalogue, Jerwood Collection, London 2012 p.30. Illustrated p.9.

On Display

On loan to Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft from 21 September 2013

Born in Bruges, Belgium, Brangwyn’s family returned to England in 1874. Although Brangwyn was mainly self-taught as an artist he received some artistic instruction from his father who was an architect and textile designer and worked in William Morris’s workshops (1882-84). In 1885 Brangwyn had one of his paintings accepted at the Royal Academy where he continued to show regularly. Brangwyn’s early work was painted in the plein-air tradition and his visits to Cornwall during the 1880s brought him into contact with the Newlyn School of artists. He travelled widely and this is reflected in the subject matter of his paintings which depict Spain, Morocco and Turkey. In 1895 Brangwyn was commissioned by the Parisian art dealer, Siegfried Bing, to decorate the exterior of his Galerie L’Art Noveau and this sparked Brangwyn’s interest in painting murals. During his life, Brangwyn produced an extensive body of work and alongside paintings and drawings, he produced designs for furniture, stained glass, ceramics, book illustrations as well as a large number of prints. He was elected RA (1919) and knighted (1941). During Brangwyn’s lifetime a major exhibition was held in 1924, which was opened by the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. Towards the end of his life Brangwyn retreated from public life and lived almost as a recluse at Ditchling, where he had settled in 1918.