Our su­per­star in wellies

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

JOHN LEWIS-STEM­PEL’S lyri­cal ob­ser­va­tions of ru­ral life have en­tranced COUN­TRY LIFE read­ers since his col­umn, From the Fields, be­gan last year. It should there­fore come as no sur­prise, although we are de­lighted just the same, that he has been granted the pres­ti­gious BSME Award for Colum­nist of the Year in the Spe­cial In­ter­est & Busi­ness Brand cat­e­gory.

‘If you’re from and of the coun­try­side, who else but COUN­TRY LIFE would you want to write for?’ he asks. ‘To re­ceive an “Os­car” from the mag­a­zine world for do­ing the job I love is a dou­ble bless­ing.’

The BSME judges were unan­i­mous in their praise for Mr Lewis-stem­pel (above), whom they call ‘the perfect writer in the perfect place, eru­dite, in­for­ma­tive and po­etic’. COUN­TRY LIFE Ed­i­tor Mark Hedges adds: ‘John is sim­ply the coun­try­side’s most beau­ti­ful writer—a su­per­star in wellies.’

G. F. Watts’s Por­trait of Vi­o­let Lind­say, later Mar­chioness of Granby and Duchess of Rut­land (above, about 1879), ‘a Sym­bol­ist icon’, has been se­cured for the na­tion, thanks to the Art Fund, the ACE/ V&A Pur­chase Grant Fund and other gen­er­ous donors. It is now on dis­play at the Watts Gallery, Comp­ton, Sur­rey, along with more than 40 draw­ings by the sit­ter, do­nated by her grand­son, the his­to­rian John Julius Nor­wich (un­til Fe­bru­ary 19, 2017).

Next year, this ‘sin­gle most im­por­tant por­trait by Watts’ will fea­ture in a ma­jor Watts bi­cen­te­nary ex­hi­bi­tion. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, visit www.watts­gallery.org.uk

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