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Item Name: Painting
Title: Path Through the Woods
Maker: David Payne
Year: 1930
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: overall: 19 cm x 26.4 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.44

Extended Label Info: This small study of a tree is painted in a style similar to the work of English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner; the leaves and the form of the tree are built up in loose, impressionistic brush strokes, emphasizing light and shadow. The sunshine on the path around the tree leads your eye to the blue lake beyond the tree. The artist, David H. Payne, studied with the Romantic landscape painter Sir Alfred East who had been influenced by the Barbizon school and the method of working “en plein air” or painting outside in the landscape. Both the Barbizon and the Romantic painters found deep meaning in nature, but unlike previous landscape artists they did not paint metaphorical narratives, concentrating instead on capturing the effects of light and colour. The Barbizon school also inspired the work of the Impressionists. David Harold Payne (1890 -1950) was born in London, England into the large family. He studied with Sir Alfred East at the Royal College of Art in South Kensington and earned a bronze medal. Payne exhibited his artwork in London before emigrating to Canada in 1913, settling in Regina. In 1914, Payne enlisted to fight in WWI, serving with the 46th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Injured in 1916 by poison gas, Payne worked in the army postal service, and married his fiancée, Eliza Kirker. The couple moved back to Regina in 1919 for Payne’s health. While working for the Regina Post Office as a letter carrier, Payne became well known as a landscape painter, and exhibited regularly in Vancouver and Regina. In 1937, the family moved to BC, and lived in Nanaimo, and Port Alice. Payne continued to paint, and his work was featured in a solo exhibition in 1947 at Vancouver Art Gallery. His artwork is collected in public and private collections.