Ellen M. Murray Thomson, Putti for Art Nouveau Frieze 7 - 1910s graphite drawing


An original 1910s graphite drawing, Ellen M. Murray Thomson Putti for Art Nouveau Decorative Frieze.

This bold sculptural image is one of a set of seven by Scottish artist Ellen May Murray Thomson (1889-1984). Please note that this listing is for the one picture shown only.

Ellen Murray Thomson produced paintings and decorative designs in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts styles in the 1910s. The putti series of which this is one was likely to be incorporated into a decorative architectural frieze. The drawing has a striking sculptural quality whilst nevertheless having a lightness suited to floating putti. Putti were a motif used by other Glasgow School designers such as Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1864–1933), and feature on buildings such as the British Linen Bank in Glasgow. 

On thin buff-coloured paper.

There is some creasing to the thin paper, as shown, and the edges are slightly tatty with a number of short repaired tears and tiny pin holes. There is a 4cm repaired tear to the lower right edge. The picture may have minor imperfections, such as slight marks, toning, foxing, creasing or pinholes, commensurate with age. Please see photos for detail.
48cm x 29cm.

This forms part of a beautiful collection of works we have for sale by Scottish artist Ellen May Murray Thomson (1889-1984). Mostly executed under her maiden name Ellen May Frew, they predominately date from before her marriage to artist John Murray Thomson RSA in 1917 (whose work we also have for sale). Whilst usually defined by her relationship to her better-known husband, Ellen Murray Thomson was in her own right an accomplished painter of animal subjects and floral Art Nouveau designs. Ellen was daughter of John Rose Frew, a master watchmaker and Provost of Dingwall (1906–1911), and a portrait she did of her father is in the collection of Dingwall Museum. It appears that before Ellen married she was a commercial artist and illustrator, producing designs inspired by architectural ornament, and creating decorative works in the Art Nouveau style – including commissions for ceramics. Thomson lived in Edinburgh (John teaching at the Edinburgh College of Art) and her floral designs were produced in the decade just following that of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s influential work in Glasgow. Ellen Murray Thomson also collaborated on children’s book projects with her husband, and this collection includes later animal paintings by Ellen produced for book illustrations (as well as some original story manuscripts). These illustrations continue an animal theme, and are charming examples of a British children’s storytelling tradition that combines interest in natural science with evocation of a simpler world pre-industrialisation.

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Product code: JL-999

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