Liverpool artwork of the week 49. ‘The shortening winter’s day is near a close’, 1903 by Joseph Farquharson (1846 – 1935) at Lady Lever Gallery.
Farquharson came to specialize in painting sheep in the snow, enabling him to contrast the hard, smooth finish of the snow with the soft, shaggy texture of the sheep — a contrast all the sharper because both are white. The setting sun, shining at the spectator, only makes the total effect all the more an ingenious test of the artist’s skill in portraying subtleties of reflected colour and tone on his white surfaces. Farquharson’s titles sound like quotations, but in fact are his own inventions.
An extended study of ‘The shortening winter’s day is near a close’ is available online as part of NML’s picture of the month series.