As we approach the centenary of the School’s foundation on 11 May 1923 we want to commemorate this landmark event and have commissioned one of Britain’s finest painters, Anthony Eyton, to record Stowe in all seasons and in all its various guises, Working with Mark Flawn-Thomas (OS) the two artist plan to capture and convey the vitality of the landscape and the people who live and work in this extraordinary environment.
Anthony Eyton is the last of the great Euston Road painters, a group founded in October 1937 by William Coldstream, Victor Pasmore and Claude Rogers which had its pre-war premises at 314-316 Euston Road and then re-emerged at the Camberwell School of Art after 1945. The School became synonymous with aesthetically pleasing paintings derived from close observation, careful measurement, subtle use of colours, structural composition and balance.
Eyton began painting when he was a boarder at Canford, a school which had been founded with Stowe in 1923 by the Reverend Percy Warrington as part of the evangelising mission of the Martyrs Memorial Trust to advance the Protestant principles of the Church of England. Eyton was ccasionally tutored by William Coldstream, a friend of the Reverend Clifford Canning, Canford’s cultured and civilised Headmaster. Canning took a close interest in Eyton’s emergence as a young artist of talent and promise while Coldstream remained a defining influence and was the main reason why Eyton joined Camberwell School of Art in 1947 after he was demobilised from the Army.
Eyton was elected a Royal Academician in 1986 and his paintings have won many accolades and prizes over the years, including the John Moores Prize in 1972 and the Charles Wollaston Award in 1989. Through direct observation and careful study of a particular place he captures its appearance, history and intangible genius loci. He goes beyond the post-impressionist realism of the Euston Road School with its puritanical denial of abstraction and has developed his own pictorial language by welcoming the poetic realms of the subjective and associational. For Eyton, a landscape is not just to be admired as a sunset, seascape or an attractive view over the mountains, but something to be climbed over, trodden on, lain in, discovered and experienced from every conceivable angle.
Mark is probably best known for his distinctive blue pen and ink watercolour paintings. Drawing directly in ink is a high risk approach but he combines detail with loose suggestive draftsmanship to capture the essence of his subjects.
He had his first one man show in 2014 in Studio 73 in Brixton Village. Mark has a permanent exhibition of his work in Brockwell Hall, Herne Hill and his sketches of the great choreographer Adam Darius were exhibited at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2016.
More recently he has been pupil and easel carrier to Anthony, working on the Hawksmoor churches series in 2016 and at Stowe on the series of paintings leading up to the centenary.
He was shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2017.
Tony and Mark will be exhibiting their Stowe series of paintings in the Marble Saloon at Stowe on 26 May 2018 and then again in the Cello Factory in London from 26 June 2018. Parents and Old Stoics are very welcome at both events.
Paintings & sketches of Stowe by Anthony Eyton RA & Mark Flawn-Thomas OS