Artwork by Edward Seago,  Morning Sunlight on the Orwell

Edward Seago
Morning Sunlight on the Orwell

oil on masonite
signed lower left and titled on a frame plaque; titled on a label on the reverse
20 x 30 ins ( 50.8 x 76.2 cms )

Auction Estimate: $20,000.00$15,000.00 - $20,000.00

Price Realized $50,400.00
Sale date: June 8th 2023

Cathryn Campbell, Countess Cawdor, London
The Taylor Gallery, London
Private Collection, Toronto
Edward Seago, “Peace in War”, London, 1943, page 21
Born in Norwich, Edward Seago developed a lifelong fascination for East Anglia, exploring in his landscapes the changing effects of light and atmosphere on the surrounding waterways and countryside. He felt a close connection to Norfolk and Suffolk, in particular: “Perhaps one has to be born and bred there for it to really get in one’s blood. But it has a powerful hold on me, and wherever I go, I feel a longing to return there.” Not unlike his predecessor, John Constable, whom he greatly admired, Seago strove to capture on the canvas his appreciation of nature in all its ever-changing forms.

Here, the artist has depicted a series of sailboats, in shadow with mostly furled sails, along the banks of the river Orwell, which was one of his favourite painting grounds. The artist developed an enduring appreciation for sailing vessels by making excursions along the North Sea coast or through inland channels like this one. As is characteristic of Seago’s marine works, the vast expanse of sky dominates the painting. The foreground is mainly empty, while a few boats stretch along the low horizon. The interaction of sea and sky would become a recurrent subject for him after growing up with enforced days of rest due to a lifelong heart condition.

In this composition, patches of sunlight appear to be peeking through the clouds, which Seago has conveyed in short brushstrokes of white paint. The flat Norfolk marshland coast has become subservient to the artist’s exploration of cloud formations in cool grey tones and patterns of light and shadow. Furthermore, dabs of white paint evoke the effects of dappled sunlight upon the surface of the water.

During the Post-War years, Seago developed strong ties with P. & D. Colnaghi Galleries in London and, most interestingly, with Laing Galleries in Toronto, one of the oldest family-owned private galleries in Canada.

Share this item with your friends

Edward Seago
(1910 - 1974)

Edward Seago was a painter of landscapes, marines subjects, and flowers in an Impressionist style. He successfully exhibited his paintings in London, Glasgow, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, Oslo and Brussels. In 1968 Seago acquired 'Ca Conca', a villa apartment in the elegant yachting resort of Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia.

Seago was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists from 1946, and of the Royal Watercolors Society from 1959. He showed his first personal exhibition in London in 1944, and two years later presented paintings giving a narrative history of the Italian war. In 1957, still in London at Saint James Palace, Seago presented canvases he had realized during the world tour of the Duke of Edinburgh. Essential to a landscape artist, he remained faithful to an impressionistic atmosphere, attempting to capture the rapid touches from the shimmering of light, made to sometimes bathe together in a blur like that of Turner. He liked to translate English landscapes in particular, like those of Norfolk, but also painted many subjects from abroad.