Cornfield at Evening
Research by Jacqueline Arundel
John Pedder, who was born in Liverpool in 1850, was a landscape artist who painted chiefly in watercolour. On his marriage, in 1883, he moved to London and finally settled in Eastfield, Burge Place, Maidenhead.
Pedder was a friend of George Clausen (1852-1944), who influenced his style. (Bennet, 1978) Clausen started painting rural naturalist subjects plein-air (outside) from 1880, in imitation of the French painter, Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884). Clausen met Bastien-Lepage and like many others became a devoted follower. He wrote ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage As Artist’, c1892, which was published in Andre Theuriet’s book ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art, A Memoir’. Clausen was also a founder member of the ‘New English Art Club’, who painted rustic subjects and, like Pedder, moved strongly into watercolours. (CAI, 2014)
Pedder attended the Liverpool School of Art and was elected as a member of Liverpool Academy in 1874; at that time he offered tuition (AB, 2014) but later resigned. (RBC, 1920)
From 1877 to 1882 he was a member and Honorary Secretary of the Liverpool Society of Painters in Watercolours and in 1898 became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. (RI)
In 1910 Pedder became a member of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists (RBC), formed in 1886 for the purpose of holding exhibitions in the colonies. Founder members were William Ayerst Ingram (1855-1913) and Thomas Cooper Gotch (1854–1931), painter and book illustrator. (AB, 2014) Many RBC members were recognised as part of the Newlyn School of painters; Ingram was a founder member and Gotch was a leading figure. However, Gotch soon abandoned rural realist narrative painting for a more stylised Pre-Raphaelite approach. (Lomax, 2004)
In 1904 the scope of the RBC was enlarged to include all the British Possessions and Dependencies and the present title received Royal sanction (previously Royal Anglo Australian Society of Artists). As its title suggests, many artists from the then British colonies of South Africa, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia also exhibited. British Percy Craft (1856-1934), also of the Newlyn School, was particularly active in the organisation of exhibitions for the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists. The last exhibition appears to have been staged in 1937 at the galleries of the Royal Institute, then located at 712 Suffolk Street, Piccadilly, London. (AB, 2014)
Pedder was not a member of the Royal Academy but often exhibited there. It is recorded that in 1901 he wrote to the secretary of the Royal Academy, F A Eaton, thanking him for informing him that his picture, The Lame Foot, had been selected for the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. (RA, 1901) This painting was still in their collection in 1930. (NVG, 1930)
Pedder also illustrated a book by William Sproston Caine (1842-1903), ‘A Trip Around the World in 1887-8’, published by London Routledge in 1888. The original illustrations were in watercolour and ink with touches of gouache on paper. Gouache, also spelt guache, is a type of paint consisting of pigment and gum, usually gum Arabic. Caine was a British politician and ‘temperance advocate’ who travelled around the world with his daughter, Hannah, between March 1886 and August 1887. During the Victorian period the temperance movement became more radical, advocating the legal prohibition of all alcohol rather than just calling for moderation. It was also perceived to be tied in with both religious renewal and progressive politics.
Caine's numerous sketches and photographs, taken during the journey, were used as illustrations to his book, some in the original state and some being reworked 'by my old friend, Mr John Pedder of Maidenhead, who has evolved the greater portion of the illustrations, with accuracy and artistic skill'. (Caine,1887)
The Monarchs of the Rocky Mountains
Cathedral Peak. Mount Stephen, 1887-8
Watercolour by John Pedder
Although predominantly a landscape painter Pedder did paint portraits such as Reverend Edward Morgan of Dyffryn Ardudwy (1817–1871), c1817. This oil on canvas can be seen at The National Library of Wales and is part of the Theological College Collection purchased from Parchedig Ifan Rh Roberts in 2003.
Reverend Edward Morgan of Dyffryn Ardudwy (1817–1871)
Oil on canvas, 126 x 90 cm, c.1870, by John Pedder
Vida Lilian Unwin was born in Bootle, West Derby in 1881 to Charles Oakes Unwin (1845-1915) and Mary Unwin (1842-1896).
In the 1891 census Charles was described as a provision agent and broker. In 1901 the widowed Charles and his family were still living in Bootle and Vida was a student of music. Her sister, Susan, (1875-1908) was an art student and her brother, Reginald, a grocer and provision merchant.
In 1911 Vida was living in Fazakerley with her other sister, Mary Caroline, and her brother-in-law, Charles Trewavas. Following the death of her parents and sister, Susan, and with her brother married, Vida moved to the Fylde and lived at The Anchorage,
46-48, Orchard Road. She then proceeded to convert this property into The Anchorage Hotel. Mary Caroline and her daughter, also Mary Caroline, worked in her hotel as domestic help and clerk, respectively.
Vida never married and died on 16 March 1954 in All Saints Nursing Home, St Annes and was buried at Lytham Park Cemetery. Her niece, Mary Caroline Trewavas, was named in her Will. Vida left £5,293.
AB, (2014) Artist Biographies, British and Irish Artists of the 20th Century, Pedder John 1850-1929 @ http://www.artbiogs.co.uk/search/apachesolr_search/john%20Pedder
AB, (2014) Artist Biographies, British and Irish Artists of the 20th Century, Royal British Colonial Society of Artists @ http://www.artbiogs.co.uk/2/societies/royal-british-colonial-society-artists
Bennet, M, (1978) Walker Art Gallery - Merseyside Painters, People & Places, Catalogue of Oil Paintings - Text, Merseyside County Council, p167
CAI, (2014) Cornwall Artist Index, George Clausen,1852-1944 @
Caine, W S, (1887) A Trip Around the World in 1887-8, Eds: Pedder, John (1850-1929) & Caine, William Sproston (1842-1903), London, Routledge,1988
Lomax, P, (2004) The Golden Dream: A Biography of Thomas Cooper Gotch, published by Sansom & Co; Extract from Penlee House Gallery and Museum, The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history, Thomas Cooper Gotch, (1854–1931) @ http://www.penleehouse.org.uk/artists/thomas-cooper-gotch
NVG, (1930) National Gallery, Victoria, John Pedder,
The Lame Foot; Report of the Trustees of the Public Library, Museums and National Gallery, Victoria, The Public Library, Melbourne, 29 March 1930 @ http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/papers/govpub/VPARL1930No10.pdf
RA, (Royal Academy) (1901) Letter from John Pedder, Eastfield, Burge Place, Maidenhead to F A Eaton, 09 June 1901, miscellaneous correspondence 1874-1901, Royal Academy of Arts, archive, Ref RAA/SEC/14/47/9 @ http://www.racollection.org.uk/ixbin/indexplus?session=9mPkAtuWnFV&_IXSR_=&_IXSP_=0&_MREF_=62107&_IXACTION_=display&_IXSPFX_=templates/full/&_IXTRAIL_=Names%a0A%2dZ&_IXlink=y
RA, (2014) Royal Academy of Arts Collections @
RBC, (1920) Royal British Colonial Society of Artists, Winnipeg Gallery and School of Art Board of Trade, Exhibition of the work of the members of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists, London in The Art Gallery Board of Trade Building, Winnipeg, Canada from 9 October to 12 November 1920, National Gallery of Canada, Internet archive, full text of "Catalogue of paintings in oils and water colors, etchings, lithographs, aquatints and bronzes by the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists, London [microform], 1996 @ https://ia601606.us.archive.org/7/items/cihm_77971/cihm_77971.pdf
Theuriet, A, (1892) Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art, A Memoir; Jules Bastien-Lepage As Artist, by George Clausen; Modern Realism in Painting by Walter Sickert; NEAC and A Study of Marie Bashkirtseff by Mathilde Blind, T Fisher Unwin, London @ https://archive.org/details/julesbastienlepa00theu
Wood, C, (1978) The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, 2nd Ed revised & enlarged 1978 (reprinted 1981), ISBN 0 902028723, p363
Wright, C, (2006) British and Irish Paintings in Public Collections, Yale University Press, ISBN 0300117302, p630
Public Collections Birkenhead (Merseyside) Williamson Art Gallery, Landscape with Cattle, List 1994, Inv No 205E
Pedder, J, (c1817) Reverend Edward Morgan of Dyffryn Ardudwy (1817–1871) BBC Your Paintings @
Pedder, J, (c1887) The Monarchs of the Rocky Mountains Cathedral Peak, Mount Stephen, watercolour 21 x 32 cm
(8 ¼ x 12 ½ in) illustrated in book ‘A Trip Around the World in
1887-8’, Eds: Pedder, John (1850-1929) & Caine, William Sproston (1842-1903), London, Routledge, 1988, p99; image of original watercolour with touches of gouache on paper, 8 ¼ x 13 in, (1887-8) @ http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/John-PEDDER-William-CAINE-MOUNT-SIR-DONALD-CANADIAN-ROCKIES-SIGNED-1887-8-/111343687945
Pedder, J, Cornfield at Evening, watercolour