Ellen M. Murray Thomson, Arts & Crafts Tudor Rose Design - 1910s watercolour

An original 1910s watercolour painting, Ellen M. Murray Thomson Scottish Arts & Crafts Tudor Rose Design, with working design layout.

A beautiful original Arts & Crafts style floral design by Scottish artist Ellen May Murray Thomson (1889-1984). Ellen Murray Thomson produced paintings and decorative designs in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts styles in the 1910s. This watercolour shows influence of the work of leading Arts & Crafts designers William Morris (1834-1896) and William De Morgan (1839-1917). De Morgan in particular designed wall tiles using the tudor rose motif. 

The watercolour painting shows working underdrawing to the right of the sheet, and is accompanied by a separate second sheet where the design has been consolidated and transferred to a canvas layout paper. 

In good condition for its age. The painting sheet has some pinholes towards the outer edges of the paper. The graphite drawing sheet has some age toning as shown, and minor creasing towards the edges.
25cm x 50cm.

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: JM-001

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