1862 - 1944
Through the Woods
Oil on canvas, signed bottom left and dated 1913
Image size: 24 x 20 inches
Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1913, number 534
Possibly influenced by a Rudyard Kipling poem "The Way through the Woods" written in 1910.
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
William Rudolph Ernest Spence, was born at in St Pancras, London on 29 July 1862, youngest son of Irish born Lewis Henry Spence, a merchant, and his wife Ann née Benham.
Known as Ernest Spence, a figure, landscape, genre and portrait painter, he exhibited nine works at the Royal Academy 1884-1902 including this painting - 'Solitude'. Other works shown at the RA include 'Circe', and 'The River Way'. Spence also exhibited at Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and elsewhere.
In 1871, he was being educated, together with his three elder brothers, at the boarding school kept by John Porter, a Moravian minister, at South Street, Leominster, Herefordshire. His father died at Kentish Town on 22 February 1874, aged 50, and by 1881, Ernest was back living in St Pancras with his 51 year old widowed mother Ann, and four of his five siblings.
Ernest married Amsbel Beatrice Du Cane in London in 1885. In 1891, they moved to the Isle of Wight with their sons, Reginald and Douglas. They then moved to Guildford in 1894. Here they had another daughter, Ruth.
Spence died in Watford on 31 July 1944, aged 82. His daughter Ruth Amsbel Spence (1893-1941) was also an artist who exhibited at the Society of Women Artists in 1920, from One Tree Corner, Guildford.
1863 - 1922
St Catherines Court, Bath
Watercolour, signed lower centre
Image size: 9 ¾ x 13 ¾ inches
Original gilt frame
Ernest Arthur Rowe
1863 – 1922
Cypresses, Villa D’Este, Tivoli
Watercolour, signed and dated 1912
Image size: 21 x 14 inches
Exhibited at The Fine Arts Society