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Evelyn Mary Watherston RA (1880-1952) - Signed Oil, The Refectory



Sulis Fine Art is proud to present this exquisite interior with figure, by the British artist Evelyn Mary Watherston RA (1880-1952). Central to the dark interior scene is an elderly female figure, in early 20th Century dress, followed by a small black and white cat. She inches toward a large trestle table, decorated with a small bowl of flowers, the main source of colour in an otherwise austere setting.

Best known for her paintings of pets and domestic scenes Watherston was deeply influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. This particular artwork displays her attention to realism, indicative of her interest in the movement. Her choice of religious setting is also an interesting one. We can draw comparisons with Sir John Everett Millais' 'Christ in the House of His Parents'. Watherstons mirrors both Millais expansive composition and his concern with societal struggle, choosing to depict the interior of a Bede house - an establishment usually run by the church to support the aged and the poor. The compelling use of light, which enters the otherwise drab interior in tentative spots further accentuates the domestic atmosphere of this artwork. There is something incredibly lonely about this painting, the woman's eyes cast down as she prepares the expansive table for a dining room lacking any human presence.

A truly marvellous and engaging work, emanating the humanism of both the artist and the subject. Signed and titled 'The Refectory, The Bede House, Castle Rising, No.1' on the reverse.

Signed. On canvas on stretchers.


Inspection under UV light reveals minor areas of retouching and a canvas repair, visible from the reverse. There is also craqueluree across the paint layer. The painting does not appear to be on its original stretchers.


58 x 76cm (22.8" x 29.9")

Artist Biography

Painter, born in London, the daughter of goldsmith James Henry Watherston and the sister of artist Marjory Violet Watherston, with both sisters attending the Royal Academy Schools before furthering their studies in Paris. She had an extensive career as an exhibiting artist primarily as a painter of animals and exhibited at the Arlington Gallery, Walker Art Gallery, New Gallery, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Society of Women Artists and at the Walker's Gallery. She also exhibited with the United Society of Artists and the Hampstead Artists' Council having been elected to both Societies. Her work was reproduced in The City Press, Sphere and Illustrated London News. Purchasers of her work included the Britannia Royal Naval College and Huddersfield Art Gallery. Watherston died at Hatch End, Middlesex.

More Information
Code km211
Artist Evelyn Mary Watherston RA (1880-1952)
Date Early 20th Century
Dimensions 58 x 76cm
Framed No
Medium Oil
Style Realism
Subject Interiors
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