Alfred East was the most significant figure in English landscape painting in the decades before the First World War, following in the direct line of Constable and Turner. And yet there has never been a full biography.
He was in his late-thirties when he left the family shoe-making business in Kettering for the precarious calling of professional artist. For the next 30 years he immortalised the rich landscape of Britain as it changed with the weather, the hour and the season. He also sketched regularly in France, Italy, Spain and north Africa and notably, following a visit in 1889, brought back the landscape of Japan to an appreciative home audience. In later years, he was a frequent traveller in the USA, where his work proved equally popular.
With national and international recognition for his landscapes in the 1880s and 1890s, East became a champion of decorative art and of his own evolutionary view of art in the face of the modernism of the new century.
The authors provide a critical assessment of East's place as an artist in the Indian summer of imperial Britain. The book is generously illustrated with a range of East's work in oils, watercolour and etchings drawn from private and public collections, including the Kettering art gallery which bears his name. This book offers the most representative showing of East's work for almost one hundred years.