A highly detailed and impressive graphite drawing by the Birmingham Group watercolorist Henry Albert Payne (1868-1940). This rendering of the architectural facade of James Buchanen & Co at 26 High Holborn, London shows the building festooned with flags in celebration of a visit by the King of Portugal. Monogrammed to the lower left, and inscribed by the artist with the title and date '1904' to the reverse. On wove.
The condition is typical for a picture of this age. There is some surface discolouration and abrasion, including near the middle of the work, and around the edges. There is some tape adhered to the reverse of the work from a previous mount. Some small creases around the edges.
27.2 x 19.1cm (10.7" x 7.5")Sheet: 30.5 x 24cm (12" x 9.4")
Henry Albert Payne RWS (1868-1940) was born at Kings Heath, Birmingham. Payne studied at the Birmingham School of Art under Edward R. Taylor and was among the students who painted murals in the Town Hall. In 1889 he joined the staff of Birmingham School of Art. His main interest was in stained glass, which he eventually passed on to his son Edward Payne. Having taught the subject in the 1890's, he himself underwent a course of instruction from Christopher Whall in 1901, and by 1904, though still teaching, he was running a busy independent stained glass practice.
Meanwhile, he was involved in a number of decorative schemes with the Bromsgrove Guild, and in 1902 was commissioned to decorate the chapel at Madresfield Court, a task which occupied him for the next twenty years and is one of the great achievements of the Arts and Crafts Movement. This, in turn, led to a commission to paint a mural in the Palace of Westminster. The resulting painting 'The Plucking of the Red and White Roses in the Temple Garden' a parable on the Wars of the Roses now hangs in the Palace's East Corridor.
In 1901, he had married Edith Gere, sister of Charles and Margaret and herself a talented botanical artist, and in 1909 they settled at Amberley, in Gloucestershire, thus consolidating the colonisation of the Cotswolds by Birmingham artists begun when the Gere's had moved to Painswick a few years earlier. He continued to produce stained glass and founded the 'St. Loe's Guild', while also painting portraits and landscapes. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1899 until 1935, with the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, FAS and he was a member of the Society of Painters in Tempera and was also an active participant with the Birmingham Group of Artist-Craftsmen. Examples of his work are in the collections of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Cheltenham Art Gallery. He was elected RWS in 1920 and died in Amberley, Gloucestershire.