Noted British illustrator and landscape painter Arthur David McCormick held an adventurous and varied career into the early twentieth century. A student from the esteemed Royal College of Art, McCormick incredibly exhibited eleven paintings at the Royal Academy of Art from 1889 through 1904, including his most famous Sakar, India: moonlight (1895) and A Hunter’s Shrine, Central Caucasus (1901). His subjects ranged from historical and naval scenes to genre painting, a form of art that depicts ordinary people involved in everyday activities. The English Illustrated Magazine, a monthly fiction and travel publication, employed McCormick as a staff artist. In 1892, he accompanied Sir Martin Conway’s expedition to the Karakoram subrange of the Himalayas to capture the mountainous landscape on canvas; in 1895, he again gathered his brushes to join Clinton T. Dent’s expedition to the Caucasus Mountains. His interests were artistic but also somewhat topographical; in addition to his work as a painter, McCormick held a membership in the Royal Geographical Society.
Entitled “The Negotiation,” this oil on canvas offers a vibrant example of McCormick’s skill as a genre painter. The rich pastel palette affords the piece a lavish if somewhat tense quality; these three Europeans, as the title suggests, seem to be engaged in an informal debate. In the foreground, two men grandly dressed in gold and emerald lounge idly on chairs of rich dark wood; their expressions, however, hold a weary tension. A third figure, seemingly bent over a crystal wineglass in the background, cocks a dubious eyebrow. This is a gentlemen’s deliberation captured and preserved via McCormick’s masterful loose brushstrokes.
An evocative scene of early twentieth-century life, this painting would look lovely in a stylish living room or boudoir.
Dimensions with frame: H= 26.5 in., W= 33 in., D= 2 in. , 8 lbs.
Dimensions of canvas only: H= 20 in. W= 26 in. D=1 in