Norman Garstin - the rain it raineth every day

by Alexandra Tuschka


This adaptation of a Shakespear quote from "King Lear" by the Irish painter Garstin is probably to be understood with a twinkle in the eye. In some parts of Ireland it rains statistically in more than 220 days a year. In this picture already so much that the whole ground is covered with water. A mother in the left part of the picture pulls her daughter towards her so that they both find shelter under the umbrella. All other persons move away from the viewer into the picture ground. Two dogs run unperturbed across the pavement. Water splashes over the barrier. In the background: the silhouette of a city stretching along the coast.

Garstin sent this work to the Royal Academy, which, however, considered it too "French" and never accepted it into its rooms. In fact, Garstin captures the mood of the rainy day so well that the viewer can literally feel it. A relationship to Impressionism cannot be denied; in keeping with this, Garstin does not depict any action and also dispenses with an eye-catcher in the center of the picture.


Norman Garstin - the rain it rains every day

Oil on canvas, 1889, 95 x 164 cm, Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Cornwall