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'Dark Woods' seems like such a sinister title; indeed the picture does exude an interestingly menacing quality. It was painted whilst the Gwladys Burton was resident of Clandon, in the leafy and affluent Surrey suburbs. Searching the area there is no mention of 'Dark Woods' so we must probably conclude that it is the title given by the artist rather than the official name of a local beauty spot. 

This painting is from a collection of work that we have acquired by the recently deceased painter Gwladys Burton (also known as Gwladys Davies Burton).

Gwladys was a prolific painter and art collector at one stage based on the wealthy Sandbanks peninsular. Much of her body of work takes the form of deceptively simple, even naive, landscapes. Her output, however, is firmly grounded in conventional representational art training and innate talent.

Along with over one hundred and twenty of her exquisite paintings and drawings came a collection of invoices, receipts and legal documents*. From these one begins to gain an insight into a lifestyle of affluence and privilege. (I am particularly impressed by the invoice from GARRARD The Crown Jeweller for cleaning the spout of a silver teapot.) These along with her various high-status addresses confirm that Gwladys was at one stage a very wealthy woman.

This was a clearly artist who painted not for fame of fortune, but for sheer pleasure; and, judging from her prolific output, almost compulsively. The paintings we have date from the early '50s to the late '80s and speak of a highly versatile artist who seems to have been gifted with an almost effortless talent.

As we continue to research more of Gwladys Burton's life is being revealed. But, like all artists, the most eloquent evidence of a life well spent is in the paintings she left for our pleasure.

*We will be including one of these documents (chosen at random) with each of Gwladys’ paintings (by way of added provenance) that is sold for over £100.

Signed: GB (Gwladys Burton)

Title: 'Dark Woods'

Date: circa 1953

Size: 25.5cm x 35.5cm

Medium: oil on panel

Condition: good


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