William Mouncey (Scottish, 1852-1901) Kirkcudbright School
A Cool Retreat, circa 1895
Oil on canvas
16 in x 20 in - 40.5 cm x 50.5 cm
signed 'W. Mouncey' lower right
titled and numbered on reverse of stretcher
William Mouncey, who was born and died near the River Dee at Kirkcudbright, was one of the founding members of the Scottish impressionist 'Kirkcudbright School' also known as the 'Kirkcudbright Artists' colony' along with his brother-in-law E. A. Hornel and his friend William Stewart MacGeorge. He exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Arts, the Aberdeen Artists' Society, the Carnegie Institute of Art, the Whitechapel Gallery Exhibitions (London) and was widely exhibited by his patron Messrs James Connell & Sons Gallery (Glasgow). The present work, titled 'The Dark Rolling Dee', was one of Mouncey's largest and most exhibited works.
William Mouncey (Scottish 1852-1901) A Cool Retreat, circa 1895
Sir James Lewis Caw applauds Mouncey's unique style and prominent position in the Glasgow school, achieved "using a fat, loaded impasto, built up in separate touches rather than laid down broadly and boldly with a full, sweeping brush, the ensemble of his pictures owed...nearly everything to harmony of tone, which was full and strong, and to design into which light and shade entered more largely than was the case in most work associated with the 'Kirkcudbright School'.
Percy Bates commends Mouncey "as the limner of Scottish landscapes ...; there his genius was nurtured and inspired, and there his heart lies...[painting the] mystery of woods, the brooding spirit of trees, the dash and murmur of brooks. The handling that he adopted was rich and free - the rich impasto of brushwork, the use of the palette knife to place pigment on canvas, even a squirt of pure colour from the tube....his massive use of paint [was] effective and legitimate on large canvases. The keynotes of Mouncey's colour were mellowness, sobriety and harmony - a palette in which golden and tawny hues were predominant. In inspiration, as in brushwork, he was an impressionist. He went to nature for his first suggestion, and sketched boldly and freely....his pictures were the expression of a remembered emotion...sublimations of the actual, crystallisations of a painter's dream, founded upon his intimate knowledge of the country he painted and his abounding love of it."