Paperback176 PagesSize: 290 × 240 mm
Includes 201 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848221543Publication: August 01, 2014

'This book is a delight...' RA Magazine

Mary Fedden

Enigmas and Variations

Christopher Andreae



  • A beautiful book on one of Britain's most popular 20th-century artists
  • Assesses Fedden's work in all media - oil, watercolour and gouache, drawing, illustration, collage and printmaking
  • Includes new photography of works in private collections previously unpublished

Mary Fedden (1915-2012) is one of Britain's most popular artists. The focus of this acclaimed book is the artist's creative process in various different media - oil, gouache, pencil and collage.

While Fedden is often considered almost exclusively a still-life painter, still life was far from being her only preoccupation, as this book shows. Fantasy and imagination always also played a strong part, as is particularly evident in her small gouaches. A quietly surreal, enigmatic streak runs through much of her work.

Fedden's collages are a witty and affectionate homage to the work of her husband, Julian Trevelyan. They lived, worked and travelled together from 1949 to 1988. The book re-emphasises her debt to him, but also her independence, even during their early life together when he stimulated her move into Modernism.

In an engaging text, which draws on numerous conversations with the artist during her final years, Christopher Andreae considers why Fedden has always had such a popular following, looks at the English quality of her work, and talks about the commercialisation of her art and her attitudes to the art market. Fedden is shown to be an original, serious and prolific artist, a draftsman of unusual sensitivity and prowess, and a colourist of power and subtlety.

Profusely illustrated with works from private and public collections, this is a book for Mary Fedden's existing devotees as well as newcomers to her work. 

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