About this artwork

In 1862 this painting was selected for inclusion in the prestigious International Exhibition in London as an outstanding example of contemporary British art. Archer’s masterpiece had been launched at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh in 1860 and was recognised as a consummate achievement of Scottish Pre-Raphaelitism. In particular it confirmed the impact made upon the Scottish vision of nature by John Everett Millais’s two paintings The Blind Girl and Autumn Leaves which had been shown in Edinburgh two years earlier. All three pictures are nostalgic in mood, suggesting a poetic analogy between the brevity of childhood and the fragile beauty of summer flowers. Revealingly, one of first owners of Summertime, Gloucestershire was Sir Thomas Fairbairn, also a major patron and collector of the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Holman Hunt.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    James ArcherScottish (1822 - 1904)
  • title:
    Summertime, Gloucestershire
  • date created:
    Exhibited 1860
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    76.40 x 106.00 cm (framed: 107.60 x 137.70 x 10.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased with the aid of the Florence Clark Bequest Fund for the purchase of Scottish Art 1979
  • accession number:
    NG 2381
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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James Archer

James Archer