Louis Bosworth Hurt (1865-1929), who is best known for his romanticised portrayals of Scotland and its livestock, was in fact born and bred in the Midlands.
That does not lessen the appeal of his pictures to admirers of Scottish art, who will find a collection of his Highland scenes on offer at Glengarden’s McEwan Gallery as it hosts its 46th annual exhibition.
Trained under landscape artist George Turner (‘Derbyshire’s John Constable’), Hurt carried out most of his work at his Midlands home in Ivonbrook, where he lived with his wife Harriet. He also kept a Welsh cottage in Betwys-y-Coed where he would retreat in the autumn, sometimes painting the surrounding landscape.
However, he achieved fame and is still best known for his Scottish scenes, particularly those featuring Highland cattle. Works with evocative titles such as In a Northern Glen and By Peaceful Loch and Mist-Wreathed Hill were among the many he showed at the Royal Academy after 1881.
Though many of these started as studies during Hurt’s frequent trips north, he and his wife also kept a herd of Highland cattle, which he could use as subjects for his compositions while at home in Derbyshire.
He has been the subject of collecting interest over the years.
A large group of his works are held by the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth, which was founded by one of Hurt’s patrons, and the selection of Highland scenes on offer at the McEwan Gallery comes from a single private source.
His paintings can now make sums into the low and mid-five figures on the open market. Recent sales include A Pertshire Loch, after a shower which sold at Bonhams in June for £15,000 hammer (source: Artprice by Artmarket). It features the requisite herd of grazing cattle.
Among the works at The McEwan Gallery is Cattle by Loch, which features the usual bovine population and is offered for £16,000.
The show runs until the end of October and features works by a number of historic and contemporary artists.
Offerings include a selection of watercolour portraits by the Scottish artist Henry Wright Kerr (1857-1936) and Contemporary pictures by London-based artist Daisy Sims Hilditch, who painted Cornwall coves and beaches during lockdown.
A group of semi-abstract works by US Contemporary painter Gary Komarin also feature, such as The Caretaker’s Cottage.
Visitors may attend the socially distanced show in the gallery or via McEwan’s recently relaunched website. Videos can be viewed online and via social media.