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Hugh Brandon Cox (1917-2004) Watercolour Wigeon Flight

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Watercolor: Pre 1930: Item # 1175485

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Hugh Brandon Cox (1917-2004) Watercolour Wigeon Flight

Wigeon Flight over Blakeney This fine little painting depicts a flight of Wigeon over the beautiful Villiage of Blakeney on the North Norfolk coast. The flight are set against the weakening evening sun. The Wigeon The Wigeon is a medium sized duck, with a round head and small bill. The head and neck of the male are chestnut with a yellow forehead, pink breast and grey body. In flight, birds show white bellies and males have a large white wing patch. They breed in central and Northern Scotland and also Northern England. Many visit the UK in Winter from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. Hugh Brandon Cox (1917-2004) Hugh Brandon-Cox, who has died aged 86, was an artist, explorer and writer inspired as much by the wildlife and wind-swept expanses of the north Norfolk coast as of northern Scandinavia. Brandon-Cox wrote and illustrated a series of books about his travels in Norway and the Arctic circle and later wrote books which evoked the bleak grandeur of the coastal scenery and the timeless quality of the Norfolk countryside. In his later years he became equally well known for his watercolours of Norfolk country scenes and wildlife, which were eagerly sought by collectors. Hugh Brandon-Cox was born on June 14 1917 at Elmstead Market, Essex. His father, Colonel John Brandon-Cox, a well-known naturalist and explorer, had been killed during a Zulu uprising in Southern Africa (where he was serving as District Commissioner) a few months before his only son was born. He remained an important influence on Hugh, who conceived a firm ambition to become an explorer. Hugh's mother, Eva, died of tuberculosis when he was five years old and Hugh went to live with his maternal grandmother in Clacton. His grandmother died when he was nine and he was then cared for by an aunt and her husband, who was subsequently killed in a motorcycle accident. Hugh spent a great deal of his childhood exploring the Essex countryside round the river Colne. In these early years, he was encouraged by his grandmother, who took him on bird watching expeditions to the Essex marshes and sent him out exploring by himself with food to last him through the day. He became fascinated by stories of expeditions to the Arctic and, as a teenager, gained a working knowledge of Swedish in the hope that that this would prove valuable in the future. At the outbreak of war in 1939, Brandon-Cox immediately volunteered for active service and, because of his knowledge of Swedish, subsequently spent much of the war in Scandinavia serving with the special forces. He helped a large number of Norwegians to escape to Britain when their country was invaded by the Germans, and later helped Allied servicemen who had escaped from Germany to find their way back home. After the war, Brandon-Cox went to live in Wiltshire where he founded The West Countryman magazine. It was a successful venture, but he longed to return to the wide skies of East Anglia. He moved to Cambridge, where he worked as a countryside and nature correspondent for a national magazine, often illustrating his articles with his own photographs.

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