I recently picked up an oil painting by #JosephSyddall. Joseph Syddall (1864 – 1942) was born in Old Whittington near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. The son of a master carpenter he started his working life as a clerk in a solicitor’s office. His aptitude for drawing was noted by Miss Mary Swanwick and she financed his place at the Herkomer Institute of Art. Syddall excelled at pencil/graphite drawing and Herkomer boasted that his student was the best draughtsman in the country. His drawings earned him admittance to the Royal Academy. Syddall was hired to illustrate Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles for the The Graphic Illustrated Magazine in 1891.
Above is the work which I acquired. It shows the tide receding into the distance. The beach is riven with channels of water beneath a heavy and blustering sky. Visitors to the seaside sit and watch while others venture far out onto the flat to chase the tide.
The painting above is a version of the painting which Syddall left to the town of Chesterfield and its’ museum. Below is the painting which the Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery hold. Syddall rarely dated his works so exact dates of creation are unknown and thusly are dated roughly. Most of his works come from between 1890 to 1914. One notices the differences immediately. I like the way he has added the people into the image creating an early focus which then leads outward onto the flats in the far distance.