As a pastelist, Wardle has taken a place in the modern British School which he can hardly be said to share with anyone else, a place gained by sheer strength of artistic personality. He has a brilliant appreciation of the genius of pastel ... He uses it with delightful dexterity. [Alfred Lys Baldry, The Studio, July 1916, Vol. 68]
In the first two decades of this century Arthur Wardle was one of the best known of living British animal painters. He portrayed an astonishing diversity of subjects with an engaging naturalism, and a command of different media. Unlike most British animal and sporting artists who restricted themselves to horse and hound, deer and domesticated beasts, Wardle both drew and painted every mammal from elephant to mouse -- in watercolour, pastel and oils.
Wardle's reputation may have been made with his large mythological paintings, but his most individual work was in pastel which underwent a revival in Britain in the 1890s. Inspired by French art, many leading British artists had experimented successfully with pastel, leading to the foundation of the Pastel Society. Wardle was elected a member in 1911. [A Century, 106]
A Century of Master Drawings, Watercolours, & Works in Egg Tempera. London: Peter Nahum, nd.
Nahum, Peter, and Sally Burgess. Pre-Raphaelite-Symbolist-Visionary. London: Peter Nahum at Leicester Galleries.
Visions Rich and Strange. London:Louise Whiteford Gallery and David Hughes, 1982.
Last modified 30 October 2004