Joie de Vivre in Unknown Fred Yates

We’re thrilled to have found the archetypal ‘feel good’ picture by Fred Yates.  A French Country Garden is an explosion of colour and vitality, it has never been on the market before and it is even double-sided, so you get two pictures for the price of one!  It is an unusually large watercolour (53×73 cms) with a family standing outside a house which nestles amongst delicately painted trees, bushes and flowers with the mountains of Provence in the background.  We have framed the picture so that if you ever tire of the garden, you simply turn it around to reveal a ‘fauve’ style wood on the reverse.

Fred Yates (1922 – 2008) is the self-styled ‘happy Lowry’ who loved to give pleasure through his painting. He used colour to break away from the early influence of L.S. Lowry, whom he knew in post-war Manchester art circles. He said that he spent years trying to forget anything he had ever been taught about painting, but this obscures the fact that he was the most sophisticated of naïves with a complete grasp of drawing, colour and composition.

In the early 1990s he moved from Cornwall to the remote mountains of northern Provence and La Drôme. His ‘faux-naïf’ paintings eventually brought him great commercial success in his life time and he is avidly collected today; we so enjoy his paintings that we try to keep several in stock.

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