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Algernon Newton British, 1880-1968

Born in Hampstead in 1880, Newton had originally been taught plein-air painting when he was at art school in 1906-7 but it was a method he struggled with for some years. Eventually he gave it up after spending two years studying the Old Masters in the National Gallery, particularly Canaletto. Coming from a family with its roots in the arts ( his grandfather Henry Newton was one half of  Winsor & Newton, the art materials company) he developed his own method of only working. Newton now painted from carefully detailed drawings, squared up for transfer in the academic manner. In his landscapes he records with an almost super-real faithfulness the form and texture of the environment, but it is his effective use of light that is the true subject of his pictures. Reviewing his career, Newton observed: ‘I felt I had to try to create something in every picture I painted, a mood, a mental atmosphere, a sentiment.’