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|Artist Details : J P Beadle|
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J P Beadle
Beadle was an academic painter who, unlike many of his contemporaries did not make a living as an illustrator. The son of Major-General James Pattle Beadle, the artist spent his early years in India becoming immersed in things military. Upon his father's move back to England, James went to study at the Slade School for three years under Alphonse Legros before moving to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Cabanal. His final schooling was in London with G.F. Watts. From his home in Victoria Road, Kensington, he submitted his first painting entitled The Painter at the age of 20 in 1884, at the distinguished Royal Academy of Arts in London, and in the following year he showed a portrait of his father in full uniform. Four years later he was awarded a bronze medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition for a painting of Les Gardes du Corps de la Reine. However, his first military painting exhibited at the Royal Academy did not appear until six years later. Drawn from life it depicted the Centenary Inspection of the Duke of York's Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars at Bury St. Edmund's in 1893. In the following year he had his own exhibition at the Fine Art Society in London. The show was entitled 'Military England of Today' and included pictures entitled Waiting for the Watering Order and Dragoons returning to camp. As one reviewer wrote, 'He does not go out of his way to flatter Tommy Atkins but he shows him to the public under many forms and in many becoming uniforms. He has studied him at home and abroad, at peace and at war, on horseback and on foot, an our verdict must be that the English soldier, of whatever branch of the service, is trim and business-like, and in many cases, a picturesque object'. His interest in the soldier at war led him to paint his first battle scene in 1897 representing Corporal Styles of the Royal Dragoons capturing the Standard of the French 105th Infantry Regiment at Waterloo. He followed this up with several military scenes such as The Comrade showing a military funeral in a village, and Paris - a torchlight procession of Cuirassiers, but the war in South Africa which broke out in 1899 provided him with material for numerous canvases. In 1901 he exhibited two paintings of the war: one showing the Grenadier Guards saving wounded soldiers from the burning veldt at Biddulphsberg (shown at the New Gallery), and a picture of the 62nd Field Battery arriving at the battlefield of Modder River, exhibited at the Royal Academy. He followed this up in 1902 with The Victors of Paardeberg showing British troops cheering beside a wall of mealie bags as surrendering Boers approach them. While he never forgot the war and returned to it for inspiration later on, he became increasingly more interested in depicting past military victories. In 1904 he exhibited a scene of the Battle of Dettingen and during the first decade of the twentieth century painted a number of canvases of the wars against Napoleon. These included The passage of the Bidassoa exhibited in 1908, 'the rear guard' of 1910 showing the retreat to Corunna, and 1806: an affair of outposts. A painting of the Franco-Prussian War was hung in 1906. The Boer War resurfaced with his scene representing artillery leaving for the front, exhibited at the Academy in 1907, his painting of 1911 entitled 'The empty saddle', and in 1915, his painting of the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade charging uphill at Bergendal. His continuing interest in the Peninsula War led him to take a holiday in Spain and Portugal in 1912 where he visited numerous battlefields to sketch the terrain. In the same year he exhibited a picture of the fighting at San Sebastian in August 1813, and in the following year, submitted his picture of Vittoria, June 21st, 1813. As late as 1924 he was still painting scenes from this war, but in the meantime the events in Europe were occupying the minds of everyone. Beadle, like his contemporaries Wollen and Woodville, began to paint scenes from the Great War, often from imagination and sometimes with the help from veterans. Among his many paintings are Neuve Chapelle, 10 March 1915, Dawn: Waiting to go over, Breaking the Hindenburg Line, and the Battle of Gheluveldt, 1914, painted in 1920. In the twenties, he turned more to landscapes possibly as a result of the horrors inflicted in the Great War. While his last painting at the Royal Academy was shown in 1929, he was to live for another 17 years finally dying in Kensington on 13 August 1946. (c) Peter Harrington.
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