1901 - 1976
The Village Fête

Watercolour, ink and graphite on paper, signed bottom left
Image size: 9 x 5 1/2 inches (23 x 14 cm)
Contemporary style hand made frame


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This is a bright and vibrant work that depicts a populated village fête – an event that many considered to be an archetypal feature of rural British life.

Fairs have been a feature of life in Britain since medieval times, and were originally a marketplace for the buying and selling of stock, and the hiring of men. Many counties still hold these fairs, which have gradually evolved into agricultural shows. The village fête, however, is an altogether gentler and more modern event, and has its roots in charity rather than commerce. The early fêtes possibly grew out of “sales of work,” where the ladies of the parish made items to be sold for charitable causes, such as war veterans or orphans.

The heyday of the fête was probably the 1950s and fêtes slowly declined in the late 1970s and 1980s, perhaps reflecting the changes in the community as more and more locals left the village, and newcomers had less interest in traditional village life.



Anna Zinkeisen

Anna Zinkeisen enjoyed noticeable publicity from the painting at the time. Anna Zinkeisen was born at Kilcreggan, Dumbartonshire on 29 August 1901, the daughter of Victor Zinkeisen, a timber merchant, and his wife Clare.

In 1901 the family moved to Middlesex. Anna and her sister Doris attended Harrow School of Art before they both won scholarships to the Royal Academy Schools, where Anna studied sculpture from 1916-1921, winning several medals. She received a commission for some plaques from the Wedgwood company and although her designs were awarded a silver medal at the Exposition des Art Decoratifs in Paris in 1925, she decided to specialise in portrait painting and mural work.

In 1935, Anna and her sister Doris Zinkeisen were commissioned by John Brown & Co. (Shipbuilders of Clydebank) to paint the murals in the Verandah Grill of the famous ocean liner the RMS Queen Mary. Their work can still be seen on the ship, now permanently moored in Long Beach, California. They also painted murals for the Queen Elizabeth.

In 1941, during World War II, the Zinkeisen sisters were both employed as war artists for the North West Europe Commission of the Joint War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and made pathological drawings of war injuries for the Royal College of Surgeons.

Artist of portrait, figure, landscape and murals and book illustrator she exhibited widely including at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Hiberian Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Society of Women Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Redfern Gallery and in the provinces and abroad. Her painting of plastic surgeon Sir Archibald Hector McIndoe is exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery (London), as is her self-portrait.

She married at Marylebone church in London in 1928, a Mr Guy Robert Nelson Heseltine (1897-1967) and they lived at Looms Cottage, Burgh, Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Her works can be found in museums across the country. Zinkeisen died in Kensington, London on 23 September 1976.