Book of the Month August 2022: Mary Fedden

From August 2022 onwards we will be highlighting a Lund Humphries 'Book of the Month' on our blog and social media channels - and offering a special 20% off with code MONTH20.

This month's book is Lund Humphries bestseller Mary Fedden: Enigmas and Variations by Christopher Andreae, which has recently been reprinted and is back in stock! It is also the perfect accompanying read for the very exciting retrospective exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery, Bath: Mary Fedden - Simple Pleasures. Read on for more about the book and exhibition... 


Mary Fedden (1915-2012) is one of Britain's most popular artists. The focus of this acclaimed book is the artist's creative process in various different media - oil, gouache, pencil and collage.

While Fedden is often considered almost exclusively a still-life painter, still life was far from being her only preoccupation, as this book shows. Fantasy and imagination always also played a strong part, as is particularly evident in her small gouaches. A quietly surreal, enigmatic streak runs through much of her work.

Fedden's collages are a witty and affectionate homage to the work of her husband, Julian Trevelyan. They lived, worked and travelled together from 1949 to 1988. The book re-emphasises her debt to him, but also her independence, even during their early life together when he stimulated her move into Modernism.

In an engaging text, which draws on numerous conversations with the artist during her final years, Christopher Andreae considers why Fedden has always had such a popular following, looks at the English quality of her work, and talks about the commercialisation of her art and her attitudes to the art market. Fedden is shown to be an original, serious and prolific artist, a draftsman of unusual sensitivity and prowess, and a colourist of power and subtlety.

Profusely illustrated with works from private and public collections, this is a book for Mary Fedden's existing devotees as well as newcomers to her work.  


House and Garden magazine, reviewing the book upon publication, wrote: ‘…this is a book to delight Fedden’s many friends and admirers… [the author’s] sensitive, intelligent book deepens our understanding of the subtleties of [Fedden’s] art – and its unexpected variety.’


Mary Fedden: Simple Pleasures is on show at Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, until 16th October 2022. The exhibition explores her life and work, from her childhood and young adulthood in Bristol, to her marriage with fellow artist Julian Trevelyan and their decades working in adjoining studios at Durham Wharf on the Thames. Over 110 paintings and works on paper are featured, covering all periods of Fedden’s career, drawn from both private and public collections across the UK, including Tate and the Government Art Collection.


Get your copy of Mary Fedden: Enigmas and Variations by Christopher Andreae - with 20% off with code MONTH20 - visit our website HERE.


Author Christopher Andreae passed away in August 2021. Christopher was a longterm colleague, authoring on books on artists, Philip Reeves (2015), Mary Newcomb (1996), Mary Fedden (2007) and Winifred Nicholson (2009).