Tempera with gold leaf on raised and tooled gesso on panel; signed and dated '98
14 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches
Exhibited: New Gallery, Summer Exhibition, 1898, no. 132; Liverpool, Autumn Exhibition, 1898, no. 1026; Oldham, Spring Exhibition, 1899; Birmingham, RBSA, Autumn Exhibition, 1899, no. 475; Wolverhampton, Art & Industrial Exhibition, 1902, no. 106; Birmingham, RBSA, Birmingham Group- Gaskin, Gere, Payne, Southall & c., 1919, no. 42; Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery, Pictures of the Birmingham School, 1920, no. 135; Birmingham, Gaskin Memorial Exhibition, 1929, no. 15; Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, and London, The Fine Art Society, Arthur & Georgie Gaskin, February-April 1982, no. C1
Literature: The Studio, vol. LXXIX, 1920, ill. p. 2; The Studio, vol. C1, 1931, p. 254; Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Arthur & Georgie Gaskin, Birmingham, 1981, p. 8, ill op. p. 48
Gaskin’s first recorded tempera painting was a portrait of his wife, the jewellery designer Georgie Gaskin, in 1898. He had problems with it, but overcame them speedily after instruction from his friend the artist Joseph Southall, and The Annunciation, his ‘undoubted masterwork,’ dates from the same year (Georgie sat for the Virgin). The subject was not an obvious choice for Gaskin, a non-conformist socialist, and he may have chosen it for the purely secular reason that it was appropriately pre-Renaissance, coinciding with his choice of medium. In a letter to his old friend and patron, Laurence Hodson, who owned the painting, Gaskin wrote: ‘I think that is the best I have done.’ His meticulous craftsmanship and bold use of colour were quite new, and Gaskin became an important member of the Bimingham Group, and a leading figure in the Tempera Revival.