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History of the Sir Alfred East Art Gallery

Sir Alfred East 1844 - 1913

Alfred East was an English painter and etcher, born in Kettering on the 15th of December 1844.

One of the most prominent among modern English landscape painters, he received his art education first at the Glasgow School of Art and then in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and under Robert-Fleury and Bouguereau.

His landscapes are remarkable for the lyrical use of colour and for the pleasing rhythm of line which is the result of careful selection and building up of the elements that constitute the scene. Based on keen observation of the colour of nature and on careful studies of the details, they are arranged with a rare and by no means obvious sense of balance and compositional beauty which summarily discards all disturbing accidents of nature.

He also achieved distinction as an etcher, and published an instructive and useful volume on landscape painting (London, 1906). He began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1883, and was elected an associate. In 1906 he became president of the Royal Society of British Artists.

East left a large number of his works to the town of Kettering on the proviso that they built a gallery to house them.

Many of his works are to be found in the English provincial galleries; Manchester owns The Silent Somme and Autumn; Liverpool, Gibraltar from Algeciras ; Leeds, The Golden Valley; Birmingham, Hayle from Lelant; Preston, An Idyll of Spring; and Hull, Evening on the Cotswolds. His Passing Storm is at the Luxembourg; The Nene Valley at the Venice gallery; and A Haunt of Ancient Peace at the National gallery in Budapest.