Mary Fedden Biography

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Mary Fedden RA was born in 1915 and studied at the Slade School of Art. She married Julian Trevelyan in 1951 and their life together was devoted to painting, poetry, music, travel, and friendship. He died in 1988 and she continues to live and work in their home on the Thames at Chiswick.

Her life-long preoccupation has been the still life with a view beyond. A staple of modern British painting, it is the motif of innumerable works by Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Paul Nash, Winifred Nicholson and John Piper, all of whom loved its juxtaposition of the near and the far, the interior and the landscape, and the object clearly observed and the distant view.

Mary Fedden's still lifes are usually on table tops tipped forward parallel to the picture plane. But whereas the cubists used this device for their heroic and complex compositions, she has domesticated their language into a private conversation of familiar things. There is less of a regard for the rules of perspective and more of a delight in pictorial choreography and in pure colour; "More a world of imagination than actual fact'' in Mary Fedden's own words.

View all work by Mary Fedden