Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Averil Mary Burleigh (1883-1949)   BIOGRAPHY

The Chria, late 1920s
Framed (ref: 182)
Signed, inscribed with title on label to reverse
Tempera on board, 10 in. (25.4 cm.) diameter


This is a typical Burleigh tempera painting of the 1920s. The enigmatic title (written on the reverse in the artist's own hand) is possibly a misspelling of Chiara (pronounced Ki-ara), which signifies light and clarity. Burleigh illustrated a number of books (especially Shakespeare), and it is possible that there is a literary connection. However, it is the decorative aspect that above all pervades this and all of Burleigh's distinctive Renaissance revival paintings. The flowers, and the medieval city in the background, are both figments of the artist's imagination. The model for this painting is likely to have been Veronica, the artist's daughter.

Averil Mary Burleigh (1883-1949)

Painter and jewellery designer; lived in Hove, Sussex and studied at Brighton School of Art. Her husband was the painter C. H. H. Burleigh, her daughter the artist Veronica Burleigh. She exhibited widely - at the RA, RSA, NEAC, RI, SWA, Sussex Women's Art Club and RCamA - and was elected an associate of the RWS shortly before she died. She was also a Member of the Society of Mural Decorators and Painters in Tempera. Her most characteristic works are brightly painted in tempera, with a strong sense of design. Her subject matter was usually based on classical or medieval subjects, and pretty maidens (often modelled on her daughter Veronica) set in Renaissance landscapes. Her watercolours (and pure landscapes in oil) were handled more loosely but still underpinned by a strong linearity. Brighton Art Gallery held a memorial show in the year of her death.

See all works by Averil Mary Burleigh