In 2010 the Lander was invited to sell for a client a painting by Edith Hume. It had the plein air quality of a Cornish watercolour, but the artist was not known to us.
Research revealed that the artist was born in Truro and grew up near the Lander Gallery's own premises.
EDITH DUNN (born 1841) was one of the most successful women to emerge from Truro in the 19th century, though few people know about her now. She grew up in Pydar Street, where her father was a tea merchant. They were remarkably talented children: Edith’s sister became a Professor of Music and her brother Henry Treffry Dunn earned his place in history as the man who helped Dante Gabriel Rosetti paint so many Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces.
When Edith was learning to paint, Cornwall was attracting artists and she was able to meet the skilled professionals who were discovering St Ives for the first time. When she married fellow artist Thomas Oliver Hume they moved to London and then Petersfield but she returned to Cornwall regularly and there are Cornish titles among the many works she exhibited. She also travelled to Europe and many of her scenes suggest a Dutch influence (the toy boat in the present painting is made out of a wooden clog).
She frequently painted warm sunny outdoor scenes which could be quite sentimental in the Victorian taste- and were very popular. Well over a hundred were shown in important galleries including Glasgow Institute Of Fine Arts, the Royal Society of Artists at Birmingham, The Walker at Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery and the Royal Scottish Academy. In London she was shown at all the most important galleries- the Fine Art Society, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Academy.