‘A Feast Fit for a King’
Signed & dated 1892
Oil on canvas 28” x 50”
A fin de siecle British painter of great versatility, Edgar Bundy was in fact mostly self taught, although as a boy he spent a great deal of time in the studio of Alfred Stevens. A highly respected artist of his time, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1881and at the Paris Salon from 1907
Bundy painted mainly historical costume pieces, and his work is included in many important public and private collections. He painted The Landings of the Canadians in France 1915 for the Canadian War Memorial. Bundy’s paintings are characteristically full to the brim with painstaking detail – they must have taken a great deal of time to complete – and their subsequent narrative strength is very compelling.
In A Feast Fit for a King, great preparations are taking place. The menu is impressive, venison, duck, hare, even swan, along with a platter of fish in the foreground. While it is the two central characters who are most illuminated here, the painting also draws on another classic Bundy construct, of depicting a snapshot section of the activity, but allowing the viewer to see that there is much more going on in the background. This can also be seen in Bundy’s painting The Night School, held in the Ferens Art Gallery collection. If we follow the gaze of the woman, we can see she is actually smiling at something or someone just outside of our view. And indeed we see that this is a very busy kitchen, everyone is on duty getting ready for a great dinner or celebration.
© Sutcliffe Galleries 2012