Framed original watercolour painting and collage, ‘Mozart’. Signed by the artist, Mary Fedden in the lower right corner.
Sometimes mistakenly described as the daughter of Roy Fedden (who was in fact her uncle, as was Romilly Fedden), Mary Fedden was born in Bristol where she attended the city’s Badminton School. At the age of 16, she studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts, London from 1932 to 1936. Of her time at the Slade, she recalled, ‘after Badminton, the Slade was like stepping from hell into heaven.’ At the Slade, Fedden was a pupil of the theatre designer, Vladimir Polunin. When she finished her studies, she taught, painted portraits and created stage designs for Sadler’s Wells Theatre. She then returned to Bristol where she painted and taught until World War II broke out.
After the war was over, Fedden developed her own style of flower paintings and still lifes, reminiscent of artists such as Matisse and Braque.
In 1995, she acknowledged in an interview in The Artist magazine:
I really float from influence to influence…. I found the early Ben Nicholsons fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden.
Fedden’s subjects are often executed in a bold, expressive style with vivid, contrasting colours, although her work of 2005–6 uses a narrower tonal range. Her still lifes are often placed in front of a landscape, as she enjoyed the contrasting of disparate, even quirky elements. When using watercolours she emphasised the rough texture of her favourite Indian papers.
If you are interested in this ‘Mozart’ collage painting or other artwork from Mary Fedden, please contact us.
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