George Hyde Pownall was born in Bingham, Nottinghamshire in July 1866 to Nathan Hyde Pownall and Margaret Lloyd. His middle name was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name. His father worked as a gardener at Lenton Hall, Nottingham and George may well have received a better education due to the Wright family who resided there. At the age of 14, he became an apprentice to a fine art dealer in Nottingham and before 1891 moved to London where he was an assistant to an art dealer. Whilst little is known of his artistic training at some point he began painting scenes of London in his spare time. He was also a talented musician, having received training at the Royal College of Music and often worked as a pianist at the music halls. He also worked as a conductor for the Maskelyne and Devant Orchestra and became a well-known tenor during the 1890’s. His musical career often placed him in bustling spots such as the West End, Haymarket, Piccadilly and Regent Street especially at night which undoubtedly inspired his subject matter.
Pownall lived at Torrington Square, Notting Hill where he met and married Mary Blanche Bray on 22 December, 1894. The couple lived with their family at 125 Marylebone Road and later moved to at 53 Cambridge Gardens, Notting Hill West. By 1910, Pownall had become a full time artist and became known for his street scenes of London. However, encouraged by his friend and music impresario Edward Branscombe, he decided to emigrate to Australia to take advantage of the growing opportunities over there. In 1911, he left England for Australia first living in Sydney before moving to Melbourne where he kept an artist’s studio. He resumed his music career in 1916 continuing to paint in his spare time and also worked as a stage painter at the Bijou and Tivoli Theatres. From 1924, he lived at St Kilda, Victoria where he later died on 24 January 1939.
Pownall was influenced by the impressionists as well as artists such as John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893) who painted moonlit street scenes. His ability to capture the unique atmosphere of the busy cityscapes he worked in have made his work highly popular. His distinctive treatment of form and use of incandescent lighting can be seen here in this work to great effect. Examples of his work are held by the State Library of Victoria.
|Presentation||The painting is housed in a new, English made gilt frame which is in excellent condition.|
|Condition||As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.|
|Image Size||5.5 inches x 8.5 inches (14cm x 21.5cm)|
|Framed Size||12.5 inches x 15.5 inches (32cm x 39.5cm)|