Harry Epworth Allen (1894-1958):
The Pool, mid 1930s
Framed (ref: 2)
Tempera on canvas, 19 x 24 in. (48 X 61 cm.)
Provenance: Sotheby's, 19th July 1989, lot 191; The Fine Art Society; Alan Fortunoff, (acquired 1991)
The Pool is an unusual subject in Allen's oeuvre - his subjects were usually sourced from contemporary daily life in Derbyshire. Typical amongst his thirty-nine Academy exhibits (1934-55) are titles such as Northern Winter, The Derelict, The Dead Tree and Cement Works in Derbyshire.
The stylised treatment of the figures and landscape is entirely characteristic. To this end Allen used tempera to great effect (a medium that he employed almost exclusively in preference to oil), producing compositions which are distinctive, intensely linear and colourful. "We are concerned primarily, Allen wrote in 1942, with rhythm and design, and our colour must be employed for the purpose of reinforcing these fundamentals and strengthening form. Harry Allen, Decorative Landscape Painting, The Artist, November 1942, p. 57
The location has recently been identified as the pool on the Longshaw Estate with the distinctive outlines of Carl Wark and Higger Tor behind.
We are grateful to Alistair Wright for assistance