Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Haslehust Mystery Painting #2

Three years ago - see EW Haslehust ... and artfight! - I mentioned the work of Ernest William Haslehust (1855-1949), a watercolourist who specialised in slightly prettified, but nevertheless skilful and evocative, paintings of English landscapes and townscapes. His work was a mainstay of Blackie & Sons' classic Beautiful England series.

Holly Daniel has just sent me an image  of a 16" by 48" painting acquired at a Californian junk store, signed EW Haslehust. She asks if anyone has any thoughts on where it might be.

As you can see, it depicts a tidal estuary with hills. Haslehust usually painted southern English scenes, but not invariably; he also went to Cumbria and Scotland on occasion. I don't known enough about boats, but the sail shape might give a clue, and also (in this detail) the style of the lady's hat.

click to enlarge
Anyhow, here's the full picture:

raw image - click to enlarge
I had a go at correcting the image for the known aspect ratio and the general fading:

click to enlarge
I have to say that I don't rule out the possibility of this being painted by someone else, with a bogus signature; the skill and precision don't seem up to Haslehust's familiar works from the Beautiful England series. Then again, this is an oil painting, and he normally worked in watercolours - perhaps it was a very early work, and/or he was just less adept in this medium.

If you haven't already, you might also like to look at an earlier post, Haslehust mystery painting, which puts up another unknown Haslehust painting - that one of an English cottage - for identification.

- Ray


  1. plus the fact that Haslehust was a watercolourist, and these images look like someone copying his style in oils.... :)


  2. I also have a mystery painting I believe to be Hastlehust. It's an original watercolor of the brasenose-college-and-radcliffe-library-rotunda.-oxford. It is an almost match to the one seen online but has no signature on the front. It has the penciled drawing visible beneath the watercolors and done on good watercolor paper. It was found beneath a print that I had reframed for a customer from England. She wanted to throw the watercolor away but I kept it sometime without actually examining it. The artists name is penciled on the back but not in the style you see with his usual signature on his paintings. Some of the details are slightly different. The size is also slightly larger. It's almost as though he painted two but the popular image is the one that is published. If you would like to see this image, I can scan and email it to you. It is truly a mystery.

  3. Hi,
    Sorry about the delay in replying. Yes, I'd be very interested to see a scan. If you think it'd be OK, and useful, to post it here, I can do that too. Throwing these questions open can often find leads.