"Champery 1885" watercolour

Stock 1

Attributed to Ethel M J Smyth (marked to verso to have exhibited at Society of Women Artists) - see furhter information. 37cm x 26cm framed and glazed. In its original mount and frame, but would benefit from reframing and light cleaning. 

For collection or local delivery (within 20 miles of Old Bank Antiques)


There is some mystery about the artist, Ethel Smyth. It is thought that this is the same Dame Ethel Mary Smyth who was a famous composer and suffragette. Ethel Smyth was thought to have had just one male lover, Henry Bennet Brewster, with whom she had an affair in the 1880's, at which time Brewster was living, with his wife, near Lake Geneva. In her letters to Brewster, and his replies, reference is made to the time they spent climbing and fishing at Champery. In 1885, Ethel suffered a minor injury to her leg while climbing, and complained about this requiring her to hold back from her normal active lifestyle. Could it be that this watercolour was executed while convalescing from that injury?

Whilst Dame Ethel Smyth was a very accomplished composer, there is no record of her being a painter. However, many ladies of the period would have painting as a pastime, and the watercolour, whilst good, could not be said to be the work of an accomplished artist.

As a result this picture will be of interest to those who know Champery and those interested in the life and work of Dame Ethel Smyth.