House and Garden at Middle Park
One From A Group of Four Rare English Naive School House Portraits
Depicting Estate Houses in Their Landscape at Middle Park, Kent
Oils on Canvas
English c. 1830
20.5” high x 24” wide
This is a very rare and historically interesting group of four English Naive School House Portraits, depicting delightful Regency Villas in the park Estate. These buildings sadly no longer exist as the Park was developed in the early 20th Century.
Middle Park was originally one of three parks belonging to Eltham Palace and was renowned for its hunting forests. Several English Monarchs used Eltham Palace as their home up until the execution of Charles I, after which the trees from the forest of Middle Park were gradually removed to supply timber for naval shipbuilding. After the Restoration in 1660 Eltham and its lands passed into private hands.
Documentary house portraits of vernacular houses are most unusual and a group such as this is a remarkable discovery. All four paintings are in excellent original condition and retain wonderful strong colours. As with most of the best naive and primitive art they are unpretentious and guileless images that can be read well from a distance. Works of this type influenced early C20th art movements, by their lack of conventional technique and perspective and for their strength and simplicity. These qualities render them immediately complimentary to both traditional and contemporary spaces and as a group they make a great bold statement hung together in a rectangle.