The story of Fred Appleyard’s (1874 – 1963) artistic career is one that seems to have been lost to art history. Working successfully as an accomplished Pre-Raphaelite styled painter at the turn of the century, Appleyard moved to Hampshire after the First World War and became captivated by his surroundings, changing his painting approach to British Impressionism.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth, this specially curated exhibition draws together gems from private and public collections and seeks to reintroduce Appleyard as one of Britain's finest painters.
The exhibition includes rural landscapes of chalk streams and dappled light, tender portraits where light dances off the skin or is reflected in the dazzling Itchen water, and jewel-like, floral still-lives. His exceptional talent for colour and light can be seen in works such as Garden at Lane End, Itchen Stoke (c1935) and Moonrise over the River Itchen (c1953).
Appleyard’s accomplished drawings of his beloved Itchen Valley provide us with pin-point locations that many will recognise. Most poignantly, Appleyard depicted a time when the pace of life was slower, and some would argue, gentler. These graceful scenes are a celebration of the slow act of painting, with themes relevant today, viewed through the portal of the artist’s canvas.
Appleyard trained at the Royal Academy Schools where he was awarded the prestigious Turner Gold Medal for landscape painting. His paintings are held in national and international collections and his stunning 1903 mural for the Royal Academy restaurant wall still stands.
An events programme will accompany the exhibition, including curators tours.
Images: Garden at Lane End, Itchen Stoke, c1935 / The Ford at Chilland, Martyr Worthy, c1935 / Itchen Valley Landscape with Figure, c1930 / Moonrise over the River Itchen, c1935