1866 - 1955

Sir John Arnesby Brown was born in Nottingham in 1866. He studied at the Nottingham school of Art and then spent 18 months in London being tutored by landscape artist Andrew McCallum, where he learnt about the observation of nature and subtle effects of light and colour. In 1889 he joined the art school founded by Hubert von Herkomer, a famous artist who was a pioneer of social realism in art. Later he joined the colony of artists living and working in St Ives where he began painting outdoors.

He is best known for painting pastoral landscape subjects, particularly from the area around Haddiscoe in Norfolk where he lived. His work often presents a timeless, naturalistic view of the countryside, but after 1905 he also became interested in painting the industrial landscape, particularly the rail yards and brickworks around Kings Lynn.

'Herald of the Night' depicts a particular time of day, when the evening light is low and the colours in the sky become more intense. The picture shows the flat Norfolk landscape, with the moon rising in the background and a peaceful herd of cows. It reflects Arnesby Brown's skill and interest in capturing the subtleties and changing effects of light, weather and atmosphere.

From 1890, Brown exhibited at the Royal Academy and was elected ARA in1903 and RA in 1915. He was knighted in 1938 for his services to the nation's art.