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Edwardian Pre-Raphaelites, The Art of John and Mary Young Hunter

8th June - 28th July 2000

Dreaming by a Pond, by Mary Young Hunter, 1903

Dreaming by a Pond (d.1903)
Mary Young Hunter
Watercolour on paper
12 x 16 in
30.5 x 40.5 cm
Inscribed bottom right, 'Mary Young Hunter, 1903'

In character and style the present work resembles Sunshine and Shadow and Midsummer Noon, both of which were shown at the Fine Art Society in 1903 (nos 16 and 38, untraced). The young woman's dress and bonnet in Dreaming by a Pond, are the same as those worn by the model in these watercolours. Three unidentified works with titles taken from couplets in George Meredith's The Lark Ascending and Robert Browning's Garden Fancies were also exhibited in 1903 and it is likely that this watercolour is one of these. Despite their poetic wrapping, these works well illustrate the degree to which Mary Young Hunter wished to shed the narrative subject matter which often led to lengthy catalogue texts in Victorian exhibitions. The work revels in the sensual delight of sunlight and summer and as such strikes a relationship with the slightly later dolce far niente 'holiday' canvases of John Singer Sargent. Contemporary photographs of Mary Young Hunter show her in a similar dress by the pond at Giffords.

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