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CHARLES PEARS ROI, SMA. 1873 - 1958 Ramsgate Oil on canvas, signed Image size: 30 ½ × 43 ¾ inches (77.5 × 111 cm) Contemporary frame Commissioned by Southern Railway 1935 Private Collection This design was from a series commissioned by John Elliot, who was Southern Railway’s Advertising Manager. It was following the 1923 amalgamation of the numerous companies operating railways in the South of England. In the background of this work, are the harbour wall and casino, dating from the 1880s. In the 1920’s, Ramsgate was undergoing a renaissance as a popular seaside destination. Sir John Burnett and Partners built a modernist sun shelter and pool in 1923, as part of the Winterstoke Gardens. Pears offers a panorama of a summer’s day on the beach at Ramsgate, the lady in the foreground holds up a crab for us to see. This painting is a real iconic work, showing all the joys of the heyday of beach holidays in England by a modern style of painting. In the background the donkeys wait to take the next lot of children along the beach. The sand on the beach is used to great effect to display the various bathers with their richly coloured outfits and parasols. Pears was a master at recreating the sea, here the shallow sea takes up nearly half the canvas, waves are expertly rendered in a style unique to him, with the different layers coming into the beach. Pears painted every part of the painting with equal care in the background two sailing ships can be seen coming round the promenade, with the sun glistening off their sails.
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