[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
EYRE, William (1879–1979)
“The Countryside in Winter”
oil on board / 13.8 inches by 17.8 inches
According to an English dealer who has offered several works by Eyre:
William Eyre (1891-1979) was a landscape painter of extraordinary talent who exhibited at the Croydon Art Society for the best part of twenty years, with the likes of Hesketh Hubbard, PRBA, ROI, FSA, Jack Merriott, RI, William Watkins, RI, William Fryer and Cicely Mary Barker.
In 1971, Eyre moved to North Wales where he remained for the rest of his life, however he still regularly contributed to the Croydon Art Society’s exhibitions, although he no longer put his works up for sale. His works record the myriad of places that he visited, not only in England but on the Continent, and cover all seasons, but it was the sublime landscapes of Northern Wales that proved to be his final and most haunting inspiration; he died there in 1979.
Eyre’s works show considerable skill in the handling of both oil and watercolour, two very different mediums, and his landscapes have even been likened to Whistler. His confidence, sense of drama and simplicity of technique has also drawn comparisons with Cotman and there is a clear link to be made with the work of Edward Seago, seen in the soft play of light across Eyre’s coastal landscapes.
This dark brooding winter landscape renders the trees as cyclonic shapes rooted in the fields, losing their crests in low-lying clouds. “Countryside” came to the collection anonymously via a Chicago art dealer.