This is a scene of the Thames Docks. It is most likely to be on Bankside as this is where the artist lived for five years just before the outbreak of the First World War . The artist Henry Samuel Teed often painted scenes with subjects such as this, using the same ochre-led palette. Here, we can clearly see a Thames barge in the dock, it’s copper coloured sails hanging above the wooden hull of the boat as it sits moored. Surrounded by other boat hulls, dockland machinery and suggestions of figures, the scene we are presented with is one of constant industry.
Henry Samuel Teed studied in Art Schools in London and Paris, becoming a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Art Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery. As a painter he became particularly successful in interpreting the life and beauty of the Thames of London.
He exhibited in the R.A., R.B.A., Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Goupil Gallery between 1905 to 1914.
He sadly died during the First World War at the age of 33, fighting on the Front in a Territorial Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
The following is taken from the Pall Mall Gazette of August 2nd 1916, “Every one who cares about the vital art institutions of London will be deeply grieved (says the London correspondent of the Manchester Guardian) to hear that Lieutenant H. S. Teed, the Art Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, has been killed when fighting with his Regiment in France. ” Teed was a whole-soul painter, particularly sensitive to certain aspects of landscape and architecture. It was characteristic of his thoroughness that he lived for five years in a curious old house in the bargee quarter of Bankside, where the finest view of St. Paul’s can be seen. From his broad window there he painted the dome and the river in all its changeful aspects through the seasons of the year. Probably no one knew the variety of beauties which flowered in that majestic grouping of river and dome and clouds as the artist who is just gone. “