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View from Orchard Cottage, Ridley

Thomas Hennell (1903-1945)


Inscribed 'Ridley', and dated '5 March 1937'

Watercolour with pencil

14 x 19 ¼ inches

'A Century of British Art: 1900-1945', Chris Beetles Gallery, 21 June-17 July 2021, No 168

This watercolour by Thomas Hennell shows a view from Orchard Cottage, Ridley, Kent, which became the artist’s home following his release from Claybury Mental Hospital, Essex, in 1935. As described by Jessica Kilburn, the cottage was

'a Victorian property which stood across the fields from Ridley Rectory, Hennell’s beloved childhood home ... [It] had been left to the Revd Hennell by one of his parishioners ... who had known the children since their infancy, and expressed "the hope that one of them should live there"'
(Jessica Kilburn,
Thomas Hennell: The Land and the Mind, London: Pimpernel Press, 2021, page 112, quoting an unpublished reminiscence of Hennell’s sister, Betty)

Hennell gained particular pleasure from the cottage’s garden, which can be seen here, from a first floor window, covered in March snow.

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