Current exhibition of watercolours by Arthur J Legge R.B.A. (1859 - 1942)
As featured in Essex Life January 2018 edition
ARTHUR J LEGGE R.B.A.
Athur J Legge was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists at a time when it held much influence and when James Whistler was one of the senior members. L.S. Lowry , Cyril Power and Edward Seago were also prominent members. Legge taught at the Art School in West Ham was a prolific painter of watercolours who exhibited 22 paintings at the RBA exhibitions between 1899 and 1904 whilst living in Buckhurst Hill, Essex. He also exhibited a further 47 paintings during the next 10 years or so while he lived in South Woodford, Snaresbrook and Forest Gate. In 1918 Legge moved to Finchingfield in North Essex and retired from teaching in London. He did however continue to paint and the RBA archives reveal that he exhibited three pictures that year 'young lambs' , 'Felled trees Finchingfield' and 'Barbara Legge'. These appear to have been his last exhibition works.
Arthur Legge painted numerous scenes of country life around Finchingfield and the Guildhall has a lovely small collection of his work. He was also responsible for the design of the Finchingfield War memorial.
The collection of his work that we are now offering has been preserved in perfect condition as they were kept out of the light in a folio and have never been previously exhibited. It seems that Legge was a man of some means and while in his early retirement travelled with friends around the Mediterranean countries and to the Caribbean which would have been unusual in the 1920/30's . We are now left with a rather unique collection of images that record the towns and people that he met on his journeys.
Arther J Legge died in 1942 and is buried in the churchyard in Finchingfield .
.............with thanks to Des Fahy and the team from the Guildhall Finchingfield , Essex.