Carel Weight – Child’s Wonderment

Detail of Dan's new facial hair

Recently in Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery I spotted this painting, “Child’s Wonderment” by Carel Weight, dated 1975. It leapt out at me instantly. There are so many things that I love about it. In particular, the scene reminds me of the riverside in Twickenham, just past Syon Park Gardens and near the entrance to Marble Hill Park (which may well be where it was painted; if so, it was completed about 2 or 3 years after I used to spend so much of my time there with my mum. Who knows, that child could be me). Also the composition really appealed to me; I didn’t realise this at the time, but there’s something about it very reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s The Scream: the boy’s pose, the railings, the river. Finally, the style of the painting really appeals to me, I love this largely realist but slightly expressionist style which was popular mainly in the first half of the 20th century, and which feels incredibly English. I’d never heard of Carel Weight before, but having fallen in love with this picture and just hunted out a few more of his works online, his is a name I shall definitely look out for. I’ll definitely be visiting Doncaster again too: their very small art gallery has some real little gems, and I always come out of there feeling uplifted.