Evelyn Dunbar: Garden Allotment - on Evelyn Dunbar, The Lost Works



Evelyn Dunbar:
Garden Allotment

Framed (ref: 1363)
Thinned oil on paper, with scratching out, 10 1/4 x 15 in. (26 x 38 cm.)

Tags: Evelyn Dunbar oil flowers

Provenance: from the collection of Charles Mahoney

In a gilded and natural wood flat section frame, glazed

This painting, which belonged to Charles Mahoney, is likely to date to the 1930’s when Dunbar and Mahoney collaborated together on the Brockley School Murals, (1932-36) and Gardener’s Choice, (1937).  The arrangement of tulips in the middle foreground and cart seen on the right hand side are characteristic of Dunbar’s compositions, as is the device of placing  the young girl in the foreground which echoes that of the school boys in the Brockley Murals. Dunbars figures are often depicted bending in quirky positions, partly on account of the fact that she preferred to avoid painting faces.  The woman tending the vegetable plot is similar to a drawing by Dunbar on page 39 of Gardeners Choice.

The pinky-yellow palette has much in common with Mahoney’s work of the period, and setting, especially the stone and brick wall in the foreground and the Almshouses in the background are reminiscent of Oak Cottage in Wrotham where Mahoney lived and worked.


We are grateful to Elizabeth Bulkeley and Dr Gill Clarke for assistance.

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