Painting of the week No.19: Departure of the Diligence, Biarritz by Abraham Solomon

Odd, that I’ve called it painting of the week, because it’s certainly not a weekly thing. This is only number 19 since the first of the series in 2009.

The Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway, University of London in Egham has been a source of many of my paintings of the week. Our latest visit, last week, provides another.

I’d admired Departure of the Diligence, Biarritz by Abraham Solomon in an earlier visit. It was positioned high up in the gallery making close-up viewing difficult. In our more recent visits to the gallery the painting wasn’t on view, We were informed that it had been away for cleaning, and had recently returned to the gallery. What a difference cleaning has made, the colours are so much brighter. [Click on image to expand – see all the pictures in the gallery at Art UK].

Here’s my extract from the gallery catalogue, which expresses my views perfectly,

This painting was Solomon’s last work before he died in Biarritz, to where he had gone in 1861 for a rest cure for a heart condition. Solomon’s paintings were admired for their brilliance of colour, and for his interest in costume. The painting contains much in the way of incidental detail and careful grouping of figures, who weave an intricate pattern across the picture surface, again something so admired in Solomon’s work.