Full image caption
The Vale of Health, Hampstead Heath. Oil on canvas. This painting looks eastward from Hampstead Heath, just below Jack Straw's Castle public house. The man reading a newspaper, and the woman with two children highlight the use of the heath for leisure and fresh air. Cheltenham-born Claude Walker studied at the South Kensington schools before becoming a picture restorer and topographical painter. He was a Londoner all his life, living in Primrose Hill, Belsize Park, and later in Fulham. Walker's career as a picture restorer may have held back his career as a painter. There are only two other known works by Walker, both watercolours, dating from the same period as this picture. Here his style seems untouched by the contemporary movements in landscape painting.
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