ARCHIBALD ZIEGLER (1903 - 1971)
Trees on Hampstead Heath
• Oil on canvas, 20 x 24" (51 x 61cm)
• Presented in a fine handfinished gesso and gilt frame
• Signed lower left
• Price £1,650
This work is typical of Ziegler with its bold colour and simplified form. To those who are familiar with the surrounding area, the view is instantly recognisable as Hampstead Heath and serves as an interesting record of what the vegetation looked like in the mid-20th Century. The work is likely to have been completed in the early 1960s when Ziegler was local to Hampstead, and spent much time working on the Heath and the surrounding backstreets of the village.
Archibald Ziegler was born in London and studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Bernard Meninsky. Following formal training under Sir William Rothenstein at the Royal College of Art (1927-1930), he started exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1931, and received a major commission to paint the murals at Toynbee Hall in 1932. His extensive travel throughout the 1930s in Europe and America gave him a far-reaching audience, and many of his works are found in international collections today. Ziegler was known for his excellent draughtsmanship, executing many beautiful pencil, pen and ink works on paper, but it was in his oil painting that he tended to experiment with a sometimes highly stylised use of undulating line. Indeed, Ziegler himself stated that experiment "is an important element in art, but it must be based on continuity rather than on a violent break with all that has gone before".
His one-man shows totalled 14 and were held amongst the Wertheim, Arcade, Leger, Whitechapel, Berkley, Campbell & Franks, Adams, and Ben Uri Galleries. Throughout his life his 12 Royal Academy exhibits typically depicted his local surroundings - Chelsea in the 1930s, Hendon and Hertfordshire in the 1940s, and Hampstead from the 1950s onwards. He was the first living artist to be given an exhibition at Kenwood House, and in 1971 a major retrospective exhibition of his work was held to mark the Hampstead Heath Centenary. Nine key examples of his work can be seen at the Ben Uri London Jewish Museum of Art.
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