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JOHN STANTON WARD (UNITED KINGDOM, 1917-2007) OIL ON BOARD OF RACING YACHTS, IN GOLD PAINTED PERIOD FRAME(Circa 1932-1940)20th century British maritime paintingDIMENSIONS:10 ¾" Width x 8 ¾" Height  DESCRIPTION:Signed 'John Ward' [John Stanton Ward and not the 19th century British artist 'John Ward,' who was also a British nautical painter but who was born in 1798 and who died in 1849] on the bottom left corner, with original artist's board company paper label (Spaulding-Moss Company, established 1886) at the back ofthe paper covered board. This oil on board maritime painting of racing yachts was most likely an artist's oil sketch and done 'en plein aire,' thus the choice to utilize the easier to use and portable artist's board, rather than a stretched canvas. The work is a gestural, fresh oil sketch, in that the painting is quickly exercised and kinetic, having to capture the racing yachts that were no doubt quickly skimming the surface of the sea out off the coastline, whereWard would have had his field easel set up to capture the palpable excitement of the sporting event. In this painting, we see a confident, experienced artist working quickly and with a limited palette of Ultramarine and Cobalt blues, Zinc and Titanium whites, a bit of yellow ocher and perhaps a touch of Crimsom red, which is all he really needed, in order to fully capture the breath and sheer intensity of racing yachts. Although a patrician pursuit and a sport not participated in by most,Ward reveals the athleticism, muscularity and even danger of the sport with his Post-Impressionist treatment of the paint, often slashing and moving it generously and with impatience across the artist board, as if he was pressed for time and had only moments to realize the scene quickly unfolding in front of him. This kind of en plein aire oil painting necessitated the artist to move quickly and to apply the paints rapidly, often mixing the paint right on the surface of the painting and not necessarily on the palette. Ward principally uses a coarse brush and the brushstrokes are clearly visible and the oil paint viscous and generously applied. This is a field study or painting done by a confident, experienced artist who knew where he wanted to go and how to get there.John Stanton Ward was no stranger to British royalty either, as he fashioned several drawings for Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth and won the honor of painting the Princess of Wales, Lady Diana, sitting for her portrait by him in her wedding dress. He also taught Prince Charles how to sketch.
Additional information below is courtesy from panterandhall website:John Stanton Ward RA RWS RP NEAC CBE RA (1917-2007) BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:Born in Hereford, United Kingdom, the painter John Ward studied at the Royal College of Art, London before war service with the Royal Engineers was spent designing and building pill boxes along the Kent coast. After the war he worked as an illustrator, working for Vogue from 1948 to 1952, and for various publications, most notably for Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie, when it was first published in 1959. He built a highly successful career as a society portraitist depicting the great and the good, including a group of portraits for the Society of Dilettanti, Annabel's club, and a collection of cabinet secretaries. He became an unofficial court painter; Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and the Duchess of Gloucester both sat for him andLady Diana, Princess of Wales, sat for him in her wedding dress. He also painted the christenings of Princes William and Harry, made drawings of Balmoral for Her Majesty the Queen andgave sketching lessons to Prince Charles.
A life-long believer in the importance of draughtsmanship in painting, he was one of four artists who resigned from the Royal Academy on account of the
Sensation’ exhibition of young British artists in 1997.] CONDITION:Very Good to Excellent overall vintage condition. With some surface grime but with no other appreciable damage to its surface, such as noticeable abrasions, water damage, tears, loss, pushes, dings or dents. The painting remains untouched, uncleaned and in estate condition. We have not laid a finger on it and it is being offered exactly as we found it. The colors remain vivid and saturated and it looks as fresh as when it was first painted in the 1930's. An extraordinarily fresh maritime work of racing yachts  by the well known, highly decorated and widely collected 20th century British artistJohn Stanton Ward.

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