Edwin Seago Mar 08
I was reminded, when reading G R Needham’s report and picture of the shipwrecked Sheraton (January Newsletter), of an oil painting by this artist entitled Low Tide at Hunstanton. This was painted in 1950 and the picture, as you will see, features the shipwreck and Hunstanton’s wonderful cliffs.
Edward Seago was born in Norwich and spent his working life living in The Dutch House in Ludham. His early life was plagued by mysterious heart complaints which kept him away from school and from formal art training. Thus he was mostly self taught. He did however mix freely with people including other artists and he gained much from Lord Melchetts patronage. At the age of 18 he joined Bavin’s Travelling Circus which led him to be linked with Dame Laura Knight and Sir Alfred Munnings who were like minded. At the same age he painted a large Oil of a Mare and Foal for his neighbour who paid him 40gns for it which he used to set up his studio.
Later his life included foreign travel, a spell in the army until invalided out in 1944. Then as a War Artist to record The Italian Campaign.
Edward was invited to Sandringham on several occasions and in r return members of the Royal family visited him at his studio in Ludham. Prince Charles, who was a great friend and admirer commentated “Seago’s pictures conveyed in an uncanny way the actual sound of the wind in a lone Norfolk tree, or the smell of cows and plough or the soaring, twisting movements of seagulls in a windy, storm filled sky”. Queen Elizabeth had a collection of his paintings in Clarence House. He was invited by the Duke of Edinburgh to join him on The Britannia for his Antarctic Expedition and World Tour in 1956/57.
Seago’s paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, other British exhibiting Societies and the Paris Salon. One man exhibitions were held in many foreign cities including New York, Toronto (where Low Tide at Hunstanton was included), Oslo and Brussels.
Edward Seago’s mentor was John Constable but he was influenced by Turner and others who followed who were able to embrace and adapt to the IMPRESSIONIST INFLUENCE. It was in East Anglia, therefore, that this ‘new art’ flourished and helped by the vast skies and wonderful light. It was here that nature posed effortlessly for the artist and they in turn - Seago in particular – without pretence recorded so admirably the colour, light, shade and the moods which are for ever changing. This natural flair – the fluid refreshing and spontaneous quality of textures and colouring and deep and abiding regard to his subject is surely evident in Low Tide at Hunstanton.
Amongst the many works of art that Edward Seago left us this record of Hunstanton must rank quite highly.
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