The Hop-Gardens of England is a large canvas, painted during the summer and autumn of 1874 on location in Wrotham in Kent, where the artist used a barn as a studio. It shows a rolling landscape with rows of burgeoning hops dwarfing a pilgrim-like figure in the foreground. A plough sits on a hill in the foreground, while oast houses and other farm buildings are visible in the background.
The painting was widely reviewed in the press and noted for its strange, sensational qualities which seemed highly experimental for the period. Despite this, it has come to be regarded as Cecil Lawson’s best known work.
Cecil Gordon Lawson
Lawson: The Hop-Gardens of England
1537 x 2134 mm
Oil paint on canvas
Date of work
Purchased with assistance from Tate Members 2012
Lawson was a landscape painter born 3 December at Wellington, Shropshire. His father was a portrait painter who Lawson studied under. At first Lawson drew for magazines but exhibited oils at the Royal Academy from 1870 and also at the Grosvenor Gallery. At the age of 30 he travelled to the Riviera for his health. He died in London only a year later (1882). A memorial exhibition was held at the Grosvenor Gallery in the winter of 1882-3.