The Vale of Health, Hampstead

WAG 1076


The simple, realistic manner of this view of Hampstead, London, and the technique of black ink line combined with brightly coloured wash both show the influence of the Camden Town Group, especially the London views of Charles Ginner. Ratcliffe had worked as a wallpaper designer, but was persuaded to take up painting in 1908 by Ginner's friend Harold Gilman, also a member of the Camden Town Group. The Vale of Health is an area of Hampstead Heath on its southern edge. In the 19th century it had been a popular escape from the pollution and clamour of London. Artists and writers made their home there and nearby, including Leigh Hunt, John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.