Ernest Higgins Rigg

'The Young Pianist'

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‘The Young Pianist’
Signed & dated 1907
Oil on canvas 30″ x 25″

Ernest Higgins Rigg
British 1868 – 1947

Ernest Higgins Rigg , was a Yorkshire painter of rural genre, landscapes and portraits. Born in Bradford in 1868, he  was a member of the Staithes Group of Artists.

‘Go to Staithes’ – following the advice given to a young Laura Johnson – later to become Dame Laura Knight, by her drawing master Thomas Barrett, Ernest Rigg  went to Staithes and joined other young British impressionists, painting its’ towering cliffs and wild seas, storm battered cottages and resilient fisherfolk. Barrett added that ‘There is no place like it in all the world to paint’ and he was right!

The Young Pianist is a charming study of a young girl, thought to be his daughter, practicing, at  her piano. Beautifully dressed in a royal blue dress with a lace collar, a ribbon in her hair, you can see the concentration on her pretty face, feel her eyes studying the ivory keys, as she  plays the piano. A half eaten apple sits on the piano lid, discarded for the moment, while she finishes the piece. The setting is a typical Edwardian drwaing room, paintings on the wall, the long case clock, a glass cabinet of colourful stuffed birds and solid mahogany furniture.

Ernest Higgns Rigg studied at the Bradford School of Art and at Julian’s in Paris, where he was influenced by the impressionists, with their ‘plein air’ style of painting, robust brush strokes and sense of colour. He enjoyed succces during his lifetime, exhibiting in London at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists and in his native Yorkshire, including the Yorkshire Union of Artists. Living in Bradford for most of his life, he later retired to Letchworht in Hertfordshire.

© Sutcliffe Galleries 2016


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