Wednesday, 06 July 2022

Glorious view of river from house

Glorious view of river from house

A RESIDENT of Danesfield House was so captivated by the mansion and gardens and the view of the River Thames that her final wish was to be buried there.

When Helen Reid Stewart Hornby Lewis died in 1930, she was indeed laid to rest at Danesfield, where she had lived with her husband, Arthur Hornby Lewis.

But eight years later her coffin was transferred to nearby Hambleden Cemetery so that her estate could be sold.

Now local artist and painter Gaila Adair has encapsulated that view seen by Helen in a new artwork on display in Whitchurch.

Gaila, who is a garden designer and also rows, says: “A remarkable lady and lover of beauty, Helen left £10,000 in her will to the National Gallery. The view shows the mighty River Thames in all its glory. The iconic Lombardy poplars stand like sentinels to a different world of hedge-lined meadows and gentle hills. The sunlight reflects with a zest on the water as the river winds around the distant bend from Henley to Marlow. The wooded glades bend down to touch the water’s edge in subtle tones, the upper reaches clothed with the autumn reds and oranges.

“An historic view, seen through the eyes of countless generations and, most of all, loved and cherished by Helen.”

• Gaila Adair: Across the British Landscape is at the Modern Artists Gallery, High Street, Whitchurch, RG8 7EX until July 31.

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