ITEM TITLE The Lily Pond

ARTIST NAME Hornel, Edward Atkinson

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Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864 - 1933)

The Lily Pond

Oil on canvas signed and dated 1915.
Canvas size: 29.5 x 24.5in / 75 x 62cm
Frame size: 38 x 33in / 97 x 84cm


Born in Australia to Scottish parents, Edward Atkinson Hornel was brought up in Kirkcudbright, Scotland from the age of two. He became one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’, after studying at the Trustees’ Academy, Edinburgh and then in Antwerp under Verlat between 1883 to 1885. He exhibited at many galleries including the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Academy.

While still a student he painted little woodland scenes, handled with some freedom and showing an emphasis on two dimensional pattern. This was to emerge throughout his career. In 1885 he met George Henry and formed a friendship that would influence them for the rest of their lives. They shared a studio in Glasgow for many years, before travelling to Japan together in 1893. Hornel enjoyed travel, visiting Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1907, Burma, and Japan for a 2nd time in 1922. Japan in particular influenced his paintings noticeably, enhancing the flat patterning within them. Later paintings combined this way of working with the addition of young children, and it these pieces for which he is best known.

Today, his instantly recognised works are represented in public collections throughout this country, in most of Scotland’s national and provincial galleries, and in other parts of the world, including Adelaide, St Louis, Buffalo, Toronto and the Tate Gallery. His house in Kirkcudbright, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, offers visitors an opportunity to view a collection of his work.

Peter McEwan stated in his dictionary of Scottish Artists: “He continues to be an intensely popular Scottish artist and for many collectors it is a social cachet to possess a Hornel.”