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Mary Fedden - Three crocuses
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Mary Fedden

Three crocuses

Oil on canvas: 24 x 20 (in) / 61 x 50.8 (cm)
Signed and dated lower left: Fedden 1988

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Bristol 1915 - 2012 London

Ref: BZ 228


Three crocuses


Signed and dated lower left: Fedden 1988

Oil on canvas: 24 x 20 in / 61 x 50.8 cm

Frame size: 25 x 29 inches / 63.5 x 73.7 cm






Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 1988;

Joan Hawkins, Bristol, acquired from the above, then by descent



Bristol, Royal West of England Academy, An Exhibition by Artist Members of the Academy: William Cooper, Bernard Dunstan RA, Mary Fedden, Judith Greenbury, Leonard Manasseh RA, 25th April-21st May 1988, no.57

Bristol, Royal West of England Academy, Summer Exhibitions 2011, Mary Fedden: Celebration, 6th June-31st August 2011



Though three delightful mauve and orange crocuses take centre stage in Mary Fedden’s sumptuous still life of 1988, they are far from the only subject. Beside the gorgeous abstract patterns of the cut lemon and speckled egg, there stands to the right a much larger bouquet of flowers, illuminated by the window and bright blue sky. The large glass vase combines a rich, soft burgundy rose with five abstract ovals in mauve, their white and green centres suggesting auriculas. The cold blue spray beyond could be anthusa with the large lobbed, olive green leaves of a hosta behind and at the apex, the white tubular flower heads of campanular or astromeria.


A letter from the artist to the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol in 2008, granting permission for the previously untitled work to be reproduced as a greetings card, reveals her openness to suggestion, the importance of each element in the composition and her close connection to the Academy: ‘It could be called a number of things,’ Fedden writes, ‘three crocuses, half a lemon, speckled egg, or just Still life. You choose a title!’ This beautiful flowerpiece was first exhibited at a major exhibition of Fedden’s work at the RWA in 1988 and was purchased from there by the previous owner. Fedden, who was born and brought up in Bristol, was President of the Academy from 1984 until this picture was painted in 1988. The resplendent bouquet of flowers on the right recalls two earlier, highly detailed multi-flower arrangements by the artist in the collection of the RWA, entitled Flowers 1 and Flowers 2, exhibited there in 1948 and 49, which share a similar palette of deep red, white, green and gold, each flower celebrated for its unique colour, form and structure.



Other Works By
Mary Fedden:

Mary Fedden - Petunias, pansy & crocus Mary Fedden - The white umbrella Mary Fedden - Two pots of flowers


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