George Hyde Pownall ( 1876 - 1932 )
Piccadilly Circus; The Empire, Leicester Square
A pair, each signed, lower left: Geo Hyde;
one signed and inscribed, on the reverse: Piccadilly Circus/Geo Hyde;
the other signed and inscribed, on the reverse: Leicester Sq/The Empire/Geo Hyde;
each Oil on panel
6 x 9⅛ in – 15.3 x 23.2 cm
Framed size 9½ x 12½ in – 23.5 x 31.7 cm
Private collection, UK
George Hyde Pownall was a painter of evocative London Street scenes, often at night. Like many artists of the period very little is known of his career, although he is known to have painted very attractive, usually small pictures of London. He painted in the tradition of John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893) and James Abbott McNeil Whistler, PRBA (1834-1903) combining the effects of fine detail with the loose manner of impressionism.
Hyde Pownall painted many of the high spots of London such as the Law Courts in Chancery Lane, along the Thames, St Paul’s and the Café Royal in Regents Street, often frequented by the likes of Oscar Wilde and other literary dandies of the fashionable set.
Hyde Pownall had the great gift of painting atmospheric views at a time when both the horse and motorcar were commonplace and the streets of London were lit by gaslight.
He also worked in Australia, and examples by him are in the Melbourne City Council.
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