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Gilbert Adams - Mid 20th Century Pastel, Castle View

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Gilbert Adams - Original Mid 20th Century Pastel. From a large collection of artworks by the artist and his family. Unsigned. In fine condition.

Gilbert Adams (1906-1996) studied at Reading University and like his father and brother, Gilbert earned his reputation as a photographer. Most notably, he obtained a commission by the British Council to make a series promoting Britain to tourists and also directed the lighting for the Coronation of Elizabeth II. A number of Gilbert’s photographic portraits are held by the National Portrait Gallery including ones of the popular British artists Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost and Graham Sutherland. Other famous faces to appear amongst his post-war work include the sculptor Henry Moore and a young Marianne Faithfull. Gilbert was also an incredibly talented painter and relayed his skills as a portrait photographer to his portrait painting- "Art and picture making with a camera are fundamentally the same, requiring such essential qualities as good taste, beauty of line, and perfect juxtaposition of tone, together with atmosphere that stirs the emotion" Gilbert Adams, 'Photograms of the Year’ (1948) p.11. His portraits are executed in an impressionistic and occasionally expressionistic manner. Through the medium of oil and coloured pastel, the portraits in this collection convey a vibrancy and beauty of line reminiscent of the early members of the New English Arts Club. Gilbert was also a prolific landscape painter and many of his works in our collection depict the Wiltshire landscape. The artist also spent a great deal of time in St Ives which he first visited in 1926 to see fellow artist Leonard Richmond (1889 -1965) and later returned regularly on holidays. He moved to St Ives with his family at the beginning of World War One and became close friends with the most major artists working in the area, including Peter Lanyon and Hyman Segal. Gilbert was in great demand as lecturer on art, photography, and lighting for the remainder of his life. He later specialised in photographing the ballet, before passing away in 1996.


47.2 x 36.5cm (18.6" x 14.4")

Collection Information

The Adams family were three generations of artists and photographers based in Reading. The family business began with Walton Adams (1842-1934) who was the co-inventor of the dry-plate process and could list Queen Victoria amongst his most notable sitters. Of Walton’s seven children, two followed their father into the photography business and at Sulis Fine Art we are pleased to introduce you to artworks by his highly accomplished sons Marcus Adams (1875-1959) and Chris Adams (1867-1960).

The stylistic evolution across the three generations of artists is emblematic of wider evolving taste in art in Britain. Christopher’s art-deco miniatures and Marcus’s realist drawings of the Swiss Alps and beauty spots around England are replaced by the looser impressionistic style of Marcus’ son, Gilbert Adams (1906-1996), and the abstract compositions of Gilbert’s wife Rosalind Adams (née Thuillier, 1939-2015). The Adams Family Collection includes a large number of portraits and landscapes by Gilbert as well as pastels by Rosalind. Indeed, this expansive body of work presents a complete picture of the talented family and there is something within to satisfy every taste.

Many works in the collection are signed and most are in excellent condition. You can read more about the Adams Family Collection here.

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More Information
Code nk966
Artist Gilbert Adams
Date Mid 20th Century
Dimensions 47.2 x 36.5cm
Medium Pastel
Style Realism
Subject Landscape
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