A Superb Oil on Board Study of a Great Blue Heron


Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: 1940-80
Height: 16.75 inches
Width: 14.75 inches (with frame)
12.75 X 10.25 inches (without frame)

The oil on board presented in a distressed powder blue painted and gilt frame signed with the monogram SS lower right, depicts a three quarter length portrait of a Great Blue Heron, having a large yellow bill, white face and crown, and long black hanging plume with the rest of the bird being bluish-gray, the study set against an atmospheric ground.

The painting and frame are in superb overall condition with no condition concerns.

The execution is of a pretty high standard; the background is impasto, the portrait far more detailed and precise in terms of the brushstrokes. The striking orange of the heron’s bill is in good contrast with the rest of the more subdued and moody colour palette, similar in fact to the greenish blue eggs that the herons lay.

The largest North American heron, The Great Blue Heron was one of the many species originally described by Carolus Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae and is one the largest water birds that can grow up to four feet tall, with a wingspan of nearly six feet as an adult.

The works simplicity and quality of execution means it has real impact and would look particularly splendid in an airy seaside cottage, coastal retreat, or simply, the bathroom.