Here we have a very attractive and well executed watercolour
painting by W. H Humphris that as well as being a very decorative artwork is
very interesting in terms of aeronautical or aviation history.
The plane is quite distinctive in shape, a monoplane with a partially covered fuselage and bare struts to the tailplane, so there is no doubt that this painting captures a very important moment in aviation history - the first airplane flight across the English channel or la Manche. Bleriot landed his plane safely in Dover to win the £1,000 prize money offered by the Daily Mail.
Humphris was a well regarded artist who lived in London and
Cornwall and died around 1916. He was a contemporary and associate of Sargeant,
Whistler and Henry Scott Tuke whose portrait of Humphris's wife, Florence can
be seen in the Tate.
When comparing Tuke's portrait with the figure in this
coastal landscape, it is highly probable that this is Florence Humphris looking
at the Bleriot monoplane (a Blériot XI) in which Frenchman Louis Bleriot made
his historic flight on 25th July 1909.
The painting is impressionist in style and Humphris was a
successful artist who exhibited in the Royal Academy. It is in its original
frame and measures 16.5 inches by 13.5 inches overall. The painting size is 9 3/4 inches by
6 3/4 inches and weighs 1337 g unpacked. It is in very good order with just minor chipping
to the corners of the frame.
This is a great painting for any collector of Humphris's
work or aeronautica or early aviation history. It is an interesting and unusual
landscape or seascape.