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Weeding Onions

Thomas Hennell (1903-1945)


Inscribed with title and dated '25 May 1943' on reverse

Watercolour with pencil

12 ½ x 18 ¾ inches

'The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year', St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, 11 September 2020- 9 January 2021;
'A Century of British Art: 1900-1945', Chris Beetles Gallery, 21 June-17 July 2021, No 174

Early in 1943, Thomas Hennell was busy working on the illustrations to The Land is Yours, the first of two collaborations with the ruralist writer, Clarence Henry Warren (1895-1966), the focus of which was corn growing in Essex. He completed these in April, and by late May – when he painted Weeding Onions – he is likely to have been back in Kent, at Orchard Cottage, Ridley. He would certainly have wanted to be close to home at that time, as his beloved brother, David, was then seriously ill and sadly died, aged only 32, in hospital in Tunbridge Wells at the beginning of June.

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