It is difficult to date Hunter's still-lifes; he did not often write a date on them and the pictures included in various exhibitions usually had ubiquitous titles like 'Still Life' which make identifying specific exhibits impossible. However, stylistically the present picture is likely to have been painted in the mid-1920s. At this time Hunter's still-life paintings were particularly vibrant, marked by a richness of colour and bold composition. As Derek Ogston highlights in The Life and Work of George Leslie Hunter 1877-1931, 'Leslie Hunter's later still life and flower paintings exhibit considerable variety in both style and subject. It is clear that he continued to experiment, although bright colour was a constant constituent of his work, often with vibrant colours of fruit echoed in the design on a vase or background curtain.' (p.46) There is a wonderful richness in the colours of this painting and an expressive use of the paint which suggests confidence and joy which is not always present in Hunter’s paintings. It was clearly painted during a period in Hunter’s career when he was invigorated by his art and painted his best pictures. In the 1920s Hunter was encouraged by his friend and biographer Tom Honeyman to concentrate on painting still-life subjects and this was to give him a new and more focused direction in his work. In the Times review of 1923, Honeyman confirms that 'Mr Hunter loves paint and the flatness of paint. He loads it on lusciously...his still-life paintings are strong and simple in design and gorgeous in colour. Only his firm taste and his mastery of colour prevent him being blatant; but, missing that, he makes the heart glad, like wine.' (Times review of 1923, T. J. Honeyman papers, National Library of Scotland, p. 85) Honeyman further identifies that 'it is this unerring sense of colour that made Hunter the artist he became...never a jarring pattern is found, or an inharmonious tone in his colour schemes – rich and glowing as they are without a hint of garishness.'
In December 1925 a critically-acclaimed show of Hunter's work was held at the Alex Reid Gallery. A critic noted that 'Like all progressive artists, Hunter's art has advanced stage by stage until he has now evolved a style of his own, which in its compelling power and decoration and realistic elements is well in advance of anything he has hitherto achieved.' (Glasgow Herald, 15 December 1925) The same critic praised his pictures '... strong and striking in design and gorgeous in their colour harmonies. His favourite theme in this connection is a vase of flowers or a dish of fruit set against a richly patterned curtain.'
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