Church, Katharine (‘Kitty’): Wheat on the South Downs


A wonderful watercolour with bodycolour by this underappreciated artist, in very good condition with strong colours and subtle mark making. The painting is beautifully composed and provides an evocative harvesting scene before mechanisation, almost certainly within the Cranborne Chase area. It’s one of the best of Kitty Church’s works we’ve offered, the painting is signed and dated ’45, in an original frame and glazed.

The painting was the property of Philippa Bradstock of Longbottom House, Biddesden.

More images can be provided on request.

Artist: Katharine Church, (British, 1910-1999).

Title and date: Wheat on the South Downs, 1945

Size: 39 x 52 cms.


Artist description:

Katharine Church was a wonderful artist in oils and watercolour, and the quality of her work is only now being appreciated. She was born in Highgate, London and studied at Brighton School of Art from 1928-30; the Royal Academy Schools from 1930-33 and the Slade School from 1933-34. A friend of John Piper and Ivon Hitchens, she was influenced by both artists, especially in the fluid landscapes she was so fond of painting – and this connection may have overshadowed the value of her work.

Connected with the Bloomsbury, Dorset and ‘Cranborne Chase’ groups, her first solo exhibition was at the Wertheim Gallery in 1933, and she showed at the Lefevre Gallery in the 1930s and ‘40s. She moved to Dorset in 1938, to a small farm at Tarrant Hinton – a painting of this home is included in the collection – then in 1964 to Sutton House near Wimborne, hidden in a deep wood with an idyllic cottage garden.

She contributed to the ‘Figures in their Setting’ exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1953 and exhibited throughout her life including with the London Group, the New English Art Club, the Women’s International Art Club, at the RA and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Examples of her work are held by the National Museum of Wales and the Government Art Collection.