PUMPKIN COTTAGE, REAR VIEW

Nugent H. Welch

UHPC 1/38, Water colour, 525mm (h) x 420mm (w)

Nugent Welch (1881 - 1970), served overseas and was appointed official New Zealand war artist in 1918. Charged with recording post-war horrors and destruction in allied France, he returned as a hero to Wellington in 1919 and resumed painting in the idyllic surroundings of Silverstream. Welch was immortalised as the bohemian artist at Pumpkin Cottage in Nelle Scanlan's best-selling 1934 romantic novel Winds of Heaven set in Upper Hutt. The bright colours and loosely worked, painterly technique suggest this watercolour dates to the mid-1930s. Further research may reveal whether or not this is a rear view of the famous cottage. The large tree that asymmetrically intersects the space illustrates a characteristic Impressionist technique of selecting an unusual and seemingly arbitrary view.

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