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William Eyre (1891-1979) - Signed Gouache, Dutch Windmill in a Landscape

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Eyre painted many windmills, as seen in 'Dutch Waterway, on the River Zion' (no. 29 in the Mallett catalogue); 'A Dutch Meadow on Spring' (no.6) and 'Windmill' (no 48). We know that Eyre loved to travel and drew inspiration from his European tours - the present painting was likely painted on one of these trips. Eyre has included a figurative element in this composition, unlike his other depictions of windmills featured in the catalogue. Here we see a weary Dutch farmer approaching the steps of the windmill, back bent and laden with his wares. Eyre has used the inclusion of a figure to convey the scale of the windmill, which dominates the surrounding river landscape and farm buildings. The composition celebrates the beauty and history of this ultimate Dutch symbol.

It's clear that Eyre has painted this scene en plein air - his layers of loose gouache and rapid brushstrokes in the sky create movement in the approaching clouds, suggesting an oncoming rain storm. He has used tiny highlights of cobalt blue around the steps of the windmill, moving into deeper purple hues further up the mill. A highlight of white to the farmer's stooped back calls our attention to the burden he carries.

The painting is signed by the artist to the lower left and is beautifully presented in a modern gilt frame and cream washline mount.

On wove.


Both the painting and its frame are in excellent condition.


26.7 x 37.6cm (10.5" x 14.8")
Framed Size: 43.6 x 53.5cm (17.2" x 21.1")

Collection Information

Provenance: Many of the works in this collection were exhibited at the exhibition 'William Eyre: A Gentleman's Travels' by James Harvey at Mallett's, Chelsea, November 2008.

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Artist Biography

William Eyre (1891-1979) was a landscape painter of extraordinary talent who exhibited at the Croydon Art Society for the best part of twenty years, with the likes of Hesketh Hubbard, PRBA, ROI, FSA, Jack Merriott, RI, William Watkins, RI, William Fryer and Cicely Mary Barker.


In 1971, Eyre moved to North Wales where he remained for the rest of his life, however he still regularly contributed to the Croydon Art Society’s exhibitions, although he no longer put his works up for sale. His works record the myriad of places that he visited, not only in England but on the Continent, and cover all seasons, but it was the sublime landscapes of Northern Wales that proved to be his final and most haunting inspiration; he died there in 1979.


Eyre’s works show considerable skill in the handling of both oil and watercolour, two very different mediums, and his landscapes have even been likened to Whistler. His confidence, sense of drama and simplicity of technique has also drawn comparisons with Cotman and there is a clear link to be made with the work of Edward Seago, seen in the soft play of light across Eyre's coastal landscapes.


Our collection of watercolours and oils by Eyre includes stunning views of the artist’s beloved Welsh landscape, including Deganwy and Mawddasch Estuary. Other locations featured include Ludlow in Shropshire, Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, Woodbridge in Suffolk, Roundstone in Ireland, Windsor and many others. Most of the works are signed by the artist and titled and dated to the reverse. Many of these works were also exhibited at a special exhibition in November 2008 entitled 'William Eyre: A Gentleman's Travels' which was hosted by James Harvey British Art at Malletts in Chelsea.




More Information
Code kj097
Artist William Eyre (1891-1979)
Date Mid 20th Century
Dimensions 26.7 x 37.6cm
Medium Gouache
Style Impressionism
Subject Landscape
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