"A Rainy Day"
Gouache on oatmeal paper, 26.3 x 37.5 cm, signed with initials. Price: £290.
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A swollen river meanders through a rain-sodden, dully glistening landscape towards a distant estuary or the sea. In the centre of the composition, an iron bridge intersects the river as it passes through a landscape of clustered houses, back gardens, allotments and meadows stretching into the distance. The viewpoint is high but, other than a hint of truncated tree-tops in the foreground, there are no clues to indicate the eminence in the landscape where the painter has gained this panoramic vantage point. Alfred Egerton Cooper had a fondness for high viewpoints, which dated back to his work as an official artist for the Royal Air Force at the end of World War I. His vertiginous view of London from an airship was shown at the Royal Academy in 1921, and in 1934 he painted a bird's-eye view of the Thames from Westminster to St Paul's from atop a riverside building in Lambeth.