Kemp-Welch, Lucy (1869-1958; English)
Horses Bathing in the Sea 1900
Oil on canvas, 152.9 x 306.5 cm
Purchased, 1900 (advice of the Royal Academy)
National Gallery of Victoria (93-2)

This expansive (10-foot-wide), vividly realized image of soldiers with their steeds must have made a powerful impression in the NGV of the early 1900s. Painted in Dorset between summer 1899 and March 1900, partly en plein air, it was accepted by the Royal Academy for its summer 1900 exhibition, and then recommended for the NGV by the RA.

Influential on various changes made to the work in process, and on the NGV’s purchase of the completed painting, was Kemp-Welch’s teacher Hubert von Herkomer, who was NGV adviser in 1891-92, and maintained a connection with Melbourne thereafter.

From 1905 to 1926, Kemp-Welch ran the art school founded by Herkomer at Bushey, Hertfordshire. She later specialized in painting horses.


AR 1900, p.29; NGV 1905, p.24 (I.La Trobe Gallery, no.45; ill.) [£700]

Detailed historical and technical analyses of this painting, with good photographs, appear in two articles by Laura Wortley and Linda Waters published in Art Bulletin of Victoria 39 (1998): see See also Gott, 19C (2003), pp.110-11 (Ted Gott), noting that the artist later achieved fame for illustrating the first edition of Black Beauty (1915)

For Kemp-Welch, see also Bénézit 7, pp.1167-68 (listing this work, and citing a 1996 monograph by Laura Wortley); and (with further references)