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Edward Seago

As an art critic and historian, I sometimes am requested to advise on collectible artists and one I recommend is Edward Seago. Born in Norwich in 1910 as the son of a coal merchant, he was entirely self-educated. He had a heart condition, first diagnosed aged 7, which forced him to spend a great deal of his youth resting at home. Here he discovered his talent, though by all reports this was neither accpeted nor nurtured by his family.   His chief influence throughout his life was his beloved East Anglia, particularly its high big skies and gentle landscapes, which he represented in the post-impressionist manner.

Although seemingly a modest man, his career was shaped by being a war artist patronised by Earl Alexander, who invited him to join him on the Italian campaign, and the Royal Family who were avid collectors. Indeed the Queen Mother ‘s voracity for his work resulted in him presenting her with two paintings a year, rather than she acquire so many. Always a popular artist, there were queues from 6am outside the Colnaghi Gallery to acquire his work.

I have read on the National Rust arts pages that Daphne du Maurier suffered from her own popularity in terms of critical acclaim. Seago was the same, never elected to the Royal Academy, for example, though he was mentored by another well-known Norwich and  RA President, Sir Alfred Munnings. Like Munnings, he would not compromise on what he wanted to paint. He did some outstanding work of Venice and of flowers but he always returned to his native East Anglia for inspiration.

His work is not cheap, the best of which can command six figures, but Bonhams have refereed to him as the most popular East Anglian artist since Constable and Gainsborough. A lot of his work was destroyed on his death in 1974, but there are some 300 oils in existence and when they come on the market they fetch high prices. So as I say to investors you will have a painting that is not only pleasing on the eye and but will increase in value as a bond or share might.

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About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts