Sir Herbert James Gunn, RA, PRP, NS (1893-1964)
Hyde Park Corner, London
Signed and dated 1922
Oil on Canvas
18 x 24 inches – 45.7 x 61 cms
Private Collection, UK by 1989
Scottish by birth and training, Gunn studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the Edinburgh College of Art. He was to develop a style very much his own and to move effortlessly between the artistic milieus of London and Paris. He was the society portrait painter of the Establishment, becoming President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1953 and exhibited at the Royal Academy and Paris Salon. However, Gunn is perhaps best known for his beach scenes with his characteristic high horizon line and above all for his views in London and Paris.
Hyde Park Corner was painted in 1922, executed in Gunn’s cool tonal palette with his pronounced foreground, looking north towards the columns framing the entrance into Hyde Park. It is high summer and figures stroll across the thoroughfare while red London buses add a splash of colour and Gunn captures this sense of movement in both figures and the traffic. This a consummate elegant painting of the centre of London by an artist with his own unique style at the height of his powers.
His works can be found in museums in: Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland and London, HM The Queen and National Portrait Gallery.