STAGS AND A LONE HORSEMAN BY THE BANKS OF A RIVER
Signed l.l., inscribed with various colour notes throughout & to the margins beneath mount
Watercolour with pencil
25 x 32 cm
Ethelbert white was born in Isleworth into a wealthy family that provided a lifetime private income. He attended the St John's Wood Art School between 1911-1912, studying under Leonard Walker and becoming friends with the artists Mark Gertler and Christopher Nevinson during his brief time there. One of White's first major works was painted in collaboration with Nevinson - a futurist view of Hampstead Heath, finished in 1913 and exhibited at the Allied Artists Association that year. He married Elizabeth Dodwell in 1920 and together the couple lived a quasi-bohemian lifestyle, buying a wooden caravan which they painted together and drove around London.
He exhibited with the London Group (becoming a member in 1915) and New English Art Club (elected in 1921) from 1916 onwards, also showing at the Royal Watercolour Society and Royal Academy throughout his career. White was also one of the first artists to join the Artist's International Association, founded in 1933. His first solo show was at the Paterson & Carfax Gallery in 1921. White was a significant influence on British printmaking, becoming a founder member of the English Wood Engraving Society in 1925, and a member of the similarly named Society of Wood Engravers (founded five years before).
He illustrated a number of books, including Cyril Beaumont's Impressions of the Russian Ballet and Henry Thoreau's Walden, the latter of which played to White's interest in the British countryside, a theme which dominated his art. His work was compared in his lifetime to his peers John and Paul Nash, in part for his frequent depictions of the South Downs and the landscapes of Surrey and Kent. Although his subjects were essentially English in character, he did travel widely in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium and Ireland. A memorial exhibition of his work was held at the Fine Art Society in 1979.