Dorset Landscape or Near Worbarrow Bay, Dorset
The painting shows the coastline of the Isle of Purbeck, near Tyneham. A group of hikers are set against the peaceful backdrop. The painting depicts Dorset as a haven of tranquillity, with wide unspoilt views. Yet at the time of painting, coastal developments had begun to spring up all along the Dorset shoreline. Ward omitted these developments. The painting was purchased by the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum in 1962.
Ward’s family moved to Bournemouth from Worcester in 1895 and opened a drapery business in 1911. Ward began his art training at the Drummond Road Art School in Bournemouth and went on to study at the Royal Academy Schools. He lived in Bournemouth for most of his life, teaching at the Municipal College of Art and became a key figure in the influential Bournemouth Arts Club. His work was regularly shown at the Royal Academy and he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Painter Etchers in 1936.
Although perhaps little known outside Dorset, he was one of England’s most significant 20th century painter-printmakers. His evocative etchings and accomplished paintings capture a disappearing world of tranquil countryside and reveal a deep love of the Dorset landscape.