Framed Dimensions:53 x 36 cm. (20 7/8 x 14 1/3 in.)
Provenance:Baillie Gallery, Paris, November 1909;
Christie's London, 21 May 1984, lot 276;
Baillie Gallery, Paris, November 1909.
Further information:Detmold worked as a painter, illustrator and printmaker specialising in meticulous and intense images. He enjoyed huge contemporary success as a prolific illustrator and printmaker.
Edward and his twin brother Charles were taken to London zoo and the Natural History Museum to draw from an early age and were child prodigies. They lived with their uncle and guardian Dr Edward Barton Shuldham, a noted collector of porcelain and Japanese woodblocks of plants and animals. Another uncle Henry Detmold, an artist, further encouraged their development. They absorbed the influence of Japanese printmakers, fashionable in the late 19th century.
Edward and Charles began to exhibit their work in 1897, at the age of 13, at the Royal Academy and Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and, in 1900, held a joint show at the Fine Art Society. They also launched themselves as illustrators and printmakers, in 1898, with the small portfolio, Eight Proof Etchings, which sold out almost immediately. This was followed by two publications: Pictures of Birdland (1899), which married their images to Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1903), which was published by Macmillan as a portfolio, while the original watercolours were exhibited at the Dutch Gallery, in Brook Street.
Their distinction as artists, and particularly as printmakers, was marked in January 1905 by their both being elected as Associates of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. However, they resigned in the November of the same year, possibly to retain their creative independence. Continuing to apply themselves assiduously, they worked not only as watercolourists, draughtsmen and printmakers, but also in fresco and stained glass.
Edward exhibited at various venues, including the Baillie Gallery and the Arlington Gallery, and illustrated a number of books, notably 'The Fables of Aesop' (1909), Maurice Maeterlinck's 'The Life of the Bee' (1911) and, a decade later, 'Tales from the Thousand and One Nights' (1924).
E.J. Detmold's work is to be found in many museum collections including that of the British Museum, the V&A and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
There are two finches which live in Cape York in north-eastern Australia which resemble the birds drawn by Detmold, the black-throated or shafttail finch and the masked grassfinch.