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Daniel Sherrin
Daniel Sherrin, Heath Landscape With Sunset

c. 1900

About the Item

This early 20th-century autumnal oil painting by British artist Daniel Sherrin (1869-1940) depicts a rugged heath landscape under the glow of a setting sun. Sherrin was an accomplished painter of landscapes and maritime subjects. He spent the majority of his life in Seasalter, near Whitstable in Kent, where he became a local celebrity of repute. His father, John Sherrin RI RWS (1819-1896), was a painter of delicate still lifes in watercolour and trained by the distinguished William Henry Hunt (1790-1864). However, it’s unlikely that he provided any early tuition for his son as he actively dissuaded the young lad from entering the profession. As such, Sherrin was instead apprenticed to Peter Moore, a draper in Canterbury, while using any spare moment to sketch. It’s reported that he’d rise at 4am and complete a painting before breakfast. His artistic training beyond this point is unclear as several sources refer to him studying under Benjamin Williams Leader RA (1831-1923) although this is likely to be anecdotal rather than based on any facts. It’s plausible that he was actually self-taught and diligently studied from nature to hone his draughtsmanship. While still a teenager, Sherrin was offered a substantial contract by a significant picture dealer in London. Working rapidly, he could produce an extraordinary number of works to order - an attractive proposition. Several dealers sought his services and perhaps it’s fair to say that the speed of his production led to a raft of works, which failed to demonstrate his true ability. Given the right motivation, his landscapes were on a par with those of many leading contemporaries. Such was his talent, that his views have often been confused with Leader’s (and occasionally signed B. W. Leader). He had a skill for composition and often used tree-lined paths to guide the eye towards distant vanishing points, as we see here. And like Leader, his more accomplished pieces feature rutted cart tracks and shimmering light effects. Away from his easel, he developed a reputation as an eccentric prankster. His antics were reported regularly by the press and include building an aeroplane in his garden, sleeping in a coffin, and stopping a train by his house, which backed onto the tracks. He was dubbed the ‘Mayor of Seasalter’ and dressed in a range of creative outfits. His wild personality also led to numerous appearances in court and, according to the press, he was a heavy drinker. Daniel Sherrin was a remarkable character and remains underrated due to the erratic nature of his production. On his day, he could produce naturalistic works of the highest order - fit for any exhibition. A close friend remarked that he “lived to paint”. He’s represented in numerous public collections including the Royal Collection Trust and the Imperial War Museum in London. Signed in the lower right and held within a later frame.
  • Creator:
    Daniel Sherrin (1868 - 1940, British)
  • Creation Year:
    c. 1900
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 35 in (88.9 cm)Width: 55 in (139.7 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Assessed and approved by our conservator. Fine and settled craquelure, as you would expect. The paint layer is stable. One old patch.
  • Gallery Location:
    Cheltenham, GB
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU2328214456832
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