Stunning oil on canvas genre scene representing a young Spanish woman on her way to market with a fruit basket on her head. Signed and dated 1862 in the bottom left corner, the title appears on the verso, hand-written in sepia ink on the remains of an old label on the top stretcher.
Thomas Kent Pelham was a popular British painter of genre scenes, born in Brighton (Sussex) in 1830. He exhibited frequently in London beginning in 1860, specifically at the Royal Academy (25 works), British Institution (16 works), Suffolk Street (54 works) and seven works in other galleries.
He also lived and worked in Spain, producing paintings of Spanish beauties, peasants at work in the countryside, fisher folk and flowers. During the 19th century, British painters and writers saw Spain as a kingdom that offered them the quintessence of romantic realism. They travelled the peninsula in search of a natural and authentic landscape, as Spain had not yet really been degraded by industrialization. They were attracted by the exotic, the mystery, the charm and picturesqueness that still characterized life in Spain.
Thomas Kent Pelham lived in London from 1880 to 1888, and died in Brockley (Kent) in 1895.
Sources: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists; Joaquin Blasco: España en los pintores de habla inglesa, siglos XIX y XX (2009).
Artist: Thomas Kent Pelham (1830-1895).
Signed and dated in the lower left corner.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition. Restored.
Dimensions: 76.8 x 64 cm. / 30 ¼ x 25 ¼ in.
Frame: 94 x 80 cm. / 37 x 31 ½ in. Gilt wood and stucco,
Origin: United Kingdom.