Robert Bevan, Mount Stephen, 1924 / The Chestnut Tree, c.1916 / Devonshire Valley, 1913 / Near Hemyock, 1918 / Self-Portrait, 1913-14 / The Feathered Hat (his wife), 1915
Don’t you just love it, when you… just by chance… discover an artist whose work makes you feel something or yearn for something. It takes you somewhere that you have not yet been and you just feel good when you arrive.
I happened across the work of the English artist Robert Polhill Bevan a few weeks ago in a small unexpected exhibition. There was something about the way he described in paint what he saw that I was instantly drawn to. The colours, the shapes and the space. They all worked together marvellously. The landscapes are wonderful. It makes me instantly want to grab my palette and try my own hand at it.
He was a founding member of the Camden Town Group then London Group. They rivalled the traditional Royal Academy and the pompous New English Club. What-O! Go boys! Along with fellow artists Spencer Gore and Charles Ginner he spent time in the the West country of Devon painting landscapes at Applehayes Farm. It was an active studio for Slade students mainly. Bevan returned often until he bought his own place nearby in 1923.
Interesting fact: While in Paris he studied with Bonnard, Vuillard and Maurice Denis.
Another interesting fact: He knew Gauguin while in Brittany and Renoir gave him much encouragement.
I love the idea of Bevan and Gauguin or Renoir in a deep discussion over a glass of whisky about colour and form and new ideas in art…