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Charles Ginner ARA (1878-1952)
Hampstead Church, 1928


This intricately composed watercolour was executed in 1928 and depicts Hampstead Parish Church from Frognal Way. Ginner trained as an architect in Paris before moving to London and this faithful depiction of a London scene is typical of his detailed work.

Ginner used a homemade viewfinder, subdivided with black and white cotton, to select scenes and transcribed them with precision, giving equal weighting to the whole composition. 

Hampstead Church is on display in Room 6 until 21 May 2017.

Image © The Estate of Charles Ginner


pen, brush and black ink and watercolour


44 x 30 cm


Miss Jessica Dismorr.
with Leicester Galleries, London.
with Thomas Agnew & Sons, London.
Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 18 November 1977, lot 48, where purchased by Brian Sewell.
Brian Sewell: Critic & Collector, Christie’s, London, 27 September 2016, lot 222, where purchased.


C. Ginner, Notebooks, Vol. III, p. 42.

On Display

Currently on display in Room 6.

Born in France Charles Ginner grew up in Cannes.  At the age of twenty-one Ginner moved to Paris where he was employed in an architect’s office and attended art school. Following a trip to Buenos Aires in 1909, where his work was exhibited, Ginner relocated to London and lived in England for the rest of his life. He became a key member of Walter Richard Sickert’s Fitzroy Street Group and subsequent Camden Town Group. 

London was a constant source of inspiration to Ginner and he painted it repeatedly, squaring up sketches made en plein air onto canvases marked with small brushstrokes of thick paint in bright colours. Although Ginner’s paintings demonstrate a debt to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings his manifesto, Neo-Realism, published in 1914, championed the ‘great tradition of Realism’ in which ‘a pictorial work of Art must be a complete expression of the artist in relation to Nature’. 

Ginner was employed as an official war artist in the First and Second World Wars. His work was exhibited nationally and internationally and he was awarded a CBE for his contribution to the arts in 1950.  After his death from pneumonia in 1952 the Arts Council toured a retrospective exhibition of his works.