Brompton Oratory

1912
Drummond, Malcolm
A founding member of both the London Group and the Camden Town Group, Drummond painted scenes of everyday life and domestic interiors in London. Similar to his friend and teacher Walter Sickert, Drummond made complex preparatory drawings for his paintings; an early sketch of Brompton Oratory is also held in the Arts Council Collection. The Brompton Oratory is a large neo-classical Roman Catholic church located in South Kensington, London, near to where the artist lived and worked at the time, and was painted shortly after the artist’s conversion to Catholicism. Aside from reflecting his newly confirmed faith, the painting’s subject also addresses a theme common to a number of the artists in the Camden Town Group: the public consumption of music, be it in a church, a salon or music hall. The framing of Drummond’s image is particularly striking: an unusually narrow canvas and a composition that emphasises the architectural forms of the church, particularly the large column at the centre, rather than the congregation huddled below. The tight cropping reflects both Drummond’s interest in the shapes and patterns of buildings, as evidenced in the preparatory sketch for the work, but also the influence of photographic composition on Drummond and his contemporaries.
  • Artwork Details: 53.3 x 20.3cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on canvas
  • Credit line:
  • Theme: Figurative
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 324

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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