Arthur Melville (1855-1904) – The Lawn Tennis Party at Marcus (1889)
Pencil and watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour
The phenomenally successful Court on Canvas: Tennis in Art attracted the highest exhibition visitor figures in the Barber’s history last summer, and was the first ever show to explore the subject of tennis in art. One of the paintings featured was a stunning sketch by Arthur Melville depicting a tennis party at Marcus in Scotland (1886). Following the exhibition, the finished watercolour of the sketch was offered for sale at Christie’s, London.
The Lawn Tennis Party at Marcus has now been acquired for the Barber’s permanent collection. The watercolour is currently undergoing conservation and will be redisplayed in summer 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
The Court on Canvas legacy can also be seen in The Tennis Party, by Birmingham-trained artist Charles March Gere. On loan from Cheltenham Art Gallery, it will be on display at the Barber until August 2012.
You can download an image of the painting here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18966132/Melville.jpg