41. Lodge Entrance (Attingham Park)
24.4 x 34.5cm. Daler Board with new frame
On the reverse, Ivor wrote Lodge Entrance, 1973. This is his only study of Classical architecture and some explanation is needed for this particular choice of subject. Alice Cadwalader, who was a close friend of both Ivor and Winifred and was godmother to their sons, had worked as a housekeeper at Attingham. She died in 1968 and was buried in Atcham churchyard, close to this entrance. This painting must surely have been in memory of Alice, so obviously based on a card he and Winifred had received from her years before. Why he waited until 1973 to paint this subject is unclear, though it seems likely he took the opportunity to renew his acquaintance with this impressive entrance on his way to his son, Geoff's home, when he would also have visited Alice's grave. To capture the warm tones of the Grinshill stone, which were not in his monochrome photograph, he needed to have had this direct experience of his subject. Since the drive approaches the main arch at an angle, he had to engage in a complicated struggle to maintain the symmetry of the whole entrance structure (which was designed by John Nash). Ivor was happiest when creating harmonies between buildings and the organic forms of nature, and here he achieved a particular calm and composure.