‘Pair of Still-life’

Oil on board
7″ x 18″

Signed & dated 1870 & 1877

Julia May
British fl. 1870-1880

Julia May (nee Carter) was a 19thcentury painter of still-life and flowers.  She was not a prolific artist, so her works are fairly rare.

Little is known of her life other than that Julia May lived at Magdala, Napier Road, Redland, in the fashionable district of Bristol around 1870 to 1880. At that time women were only encouraged to paint for pleasure and not commercial gain, which possibly explains the rarity of her work. Julia May was inspired by the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, whose great attention to detail and the study of nature proved popular in the mid to late nineteenth century. This pair of paintings are perfect examples of this genre of painting with the finely executed flowers on a mossy bank, the little nest with three perfectly formed blue eggs nestling together and dew drops on the flower petals, all illuminated from above, make a charming composition. The arrangement of the flowers and nest is beautifully balanced, in both colour and placing. Julia May has illustrated her flawless observation of nature and her extremely fine brush-work to produce this fine pair of paintings.

© Sutcliffe Galleries 2020


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