Art of Joseph Bell

This weeks chapter is one of speculation and imagination in regards to an aquatint in my collection.  It is a portrait of a man  who was  the inspiration for a very famous fictitious character known around the world.

Joseph Bell (1837-1911) unknown artist

Joseph Bell (1837-1911)
unknown artist

I believe my research to be correct so here we have #JosephBell.  Dr. Joseph Bell was a Scottish lecturer at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in the 19th century. He is perhaps best known as the inspiration for the literary character #SherlockHolmes.   #ArthurConanDoyle served as a clerk in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary under him.  Bell was famous for making deductions about his patients and others whom he met.  Supposedly, he was never wrong.  He used his observations and skills in his lecturing also.  Ten years after their first meeting Bell was on paper as an energetic eccentric detective with extraordinary skills in logic and deduction.  Sherlock’s way of thinking and physique were reminiscent of the professor.  Holmes also possessed the same gait, narrow nose, grey eyes, angled chin and high forehead.   Holmes was also attired in the same way as Dr. Bell.  He wore the deer-stalker cap and the long caped coat.  It is said that Dr. Bell investigated one of the most famous villains of all time – ‘Jack the Ripper’ – killer of prostitutes.  Dr. Bell investigated for a week and named a suspect in his notes – they have since been lost so whether he was correct in his assumptions or not we do not know.  Even recently speculation in regards to the Rippers identity continued using DNA testing.

This aquatint is odd in that the missive at the bottom is actually by Joseph Bell which means that he gave this image of himself to somebody.

Joseph Bell unknown artist

Joseph Bell
unknown artist

Signed in ink.  It reads ‘Yours Very Truly – Joseph Bell’.  A lovely aquatint with the image of a very famous person both real and fictitious.

Posted in Aquatint | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art from George Cattermole and Vincent Brooks

Two acknowledgements but one piece of art.  #GeorgeCattermole (1800-1868) is the original artist while #VincentBrooks (1814-1885) is the man who made the lithograph which I bought the other day.

Columbus Vincent Brooks lithograph 1854 after George Cattermole

Columbus
Vincent Brooks lithograph 1854 after George Cattermole

I present ‘Columbus propounding to the Prior of the Franciscan Convent of Santa Maria de Rabida, his theory of a new world’.  A stunningly beautiful lithograph made in 1854.  So far, I have not been able to find anything about the original painting by George Cattermole done in 1849.  Born in Diss, Norfolk, George became a draughtsman and then ventured into watercolour and oil painting but his great strength was in illustrating.  He was a friend of Charles Dickens and illustrated ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ and ‘Barnaby Rudge’ for him.  He was largely employed by publishers.  He illustrated many a  ‘The Waverly Novel’ as well as many other books.

Columbus Vincent Brooks lithograph 1854 after George Cattermole

Columbus
Vincent Brooks lithograph 1854 after George Cattermole

Vincent Brooks spent most of his life in the printing industry.  He became famous for is lithographs.  In 1865 Vincent Brooks became involved with the ‘inventor’ of colour printing George Baxter (Descent from the Cross in a previous chapter).  He purchased many of Baxter’s plates and printed them using Baxter’s presses but this was a complex printing process using up to 20 stone blocks per print and was found to be a money losing venture.  Mr.Brooks bought out the business of Day & Son Ltd in 1867.  He bought their property, name, and fine reputation.  The firm now became known as Vincent Brooks, Day & Son.

Columbus - label on reverse

Columbus – label on reverse

On the reverse we find a label from #ArtUnionofGlasgow with the date and title as well as the information regarding the painter George Cattermole and the lithographer Vincent Brooks.

One also notices the fine frame it is mounted in although there have been repairs to it.  I wonder where the original painting is or if even if it still exists.  Maybe from my posting I might stir others to consider the great talents these two men had and possibly to appreciate their art even more.

Posted in Lithographs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art Shakespearean

I have read quite a lot of Shakespeare thru my days and I recently purchased an almost complete set edited by Charles Knight.  I didn’t actually buy them to read but I wanted to add the illustrations into my collection.  Just in case you worry, I never take a book apart and strip it of its’ plates.  I prefer to keep them together.  As I said an almost complete set . I miss Division 6 and someone has actually desecrated  a volume by taking out a couple of the plates.

There Sleeps Titania etching by Fred Heath for Virtue's Imperial Shakspere @ 1865

There Sleeps Titania
etching by Fred Heath for Virtue’s Imperial Shakspere @ 1873

#CharlesKnight (1791–1873) was a publisher and editor. There were a number of Knight’s editions of Shakespeare and they were some of the most popular and widely distributed in the nineteenth century.

Ariel etching by CW Sharpe for Virtue's Imperial Shakspere

Ariel
etching by CW Sharpe for Virtue’s Imperial Shakspere @ 1873

Knight died at the age of 81 in 1873, the year the “Imperial” edition was launched. It was called “Imperial” because it was printed on large, imperial size paper. The “Imperial” edition was first published in parts with elaborate illustration plates by Virtue in London from 1873 to 1876.

The illustrations were done by some of the best etchers of there time.  Fine, precise, and intricate etchings adorn the volumes and bring to life the plays.

The Seven Ages of Man etching by H Bourne for Virtue's Imperial Shakspere @ 1873

The Seven Ages of Man
etching by H Bourne for Virtue’s Imperial Shakspere @ 1873

One can immediately see why the editions were so popular.  The editions are not terribly rare or valuable but they are for me a very fine addition to my collection because of the quality on the plates which they include.

Hamlet etching by C Rolls for  Virtue's Imperial Shakspere @ 1873

Hamlet
etching by C Rolls for
Virtue’s Imperial Shakspere @ 1873

 

Posted in Etching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art of Oxford

#Oxford is a beautiful city and has been depicted by many artists.  Today’s artist is #GeorgeHuardel-Bly (1872-19?).  A Frenchman by birth who loved to travel.  He lived in Brighton, England for a time.

Magdalen College and Bridge  by G Huardel-Bly @ 1929

Magdalen College and Bridge
by G Huardel-Bly @ 1929

 

Oxford High Street by G Huardel-Bly

Oxford High Street
by G Huardel-Bly

I have several etchings by George Huardel-Bly in my collection.  Huardel-Bly was an superb engraver and was well known as such.   He detailed his travels across Europe in exquisite etchings and drypoints.

Wadham Quad by G Huardel-Bly

Wadham Quad
by G Huardel-Bly

 

New College Gates - Oxford by G Huardel-Bly

New College Gates – Oxford
by G Huardel-Bly

Of George Huardel-Bly’s personal life little is known but he was a prolific etcher and print-maker.  He was extremely popular during his residency in England.  His etching subjects stretched from the humblest of villages to the most famous of landmarks.

New College, Oxford by G Huardel-Bly

New College, Oxford
by G Huardel-Bly

 

Merton College, Oxford by G Huardel-Bly

Merton College, Oxford
by G Huardel-Bly

The six etchings in today’s chapter are all of Oxford and the colleges within it’s bounds.  Having been to Oxford,  I can attest to the accuracy of his renderings.  They are fine examples of Huardel-Bly’s talent.

Posted in Etching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art Favourites

I purchased a few etchings this week, one of which is one of my wife’s favourite images.  So we will begin with it.

The Gleaners etching by Camille Fonce after JF Millet

The Gleaners
etching by Camille Fonce after JF Millet

One of the best from #JFMillet.  #TheGleaners (Les Glaneuses) was painted in 1857 and depicts several women harvesting from the fields the remnants which have been left behind by the farm workers.  The fields were never completely harvested.  Some of the harvest would be left so that the poor of the area could come and reap a blessing from the harvest.  A gift to the poor, yet they still had to work to gain it.

A very fine etching with superb fine detail and wonderfully coloured.  #CamilleFonce (1867-1938) was born in Briare (Loiret) and studied printmaking in Paris.  In 1885 he exhibited at the Salon and later at the Royal Academy in London (1896, 1897, and 1902).  Today, Fonce is known primarily for his etchings, though he was also a lithographer.  He worked after Millet, Corot, Drummond, etc., and also created his own designs. Alas a few age spots have crept onto the image but still a lovely piece.

 

Foro Trejano etching by A Moschetti @ 1843

Foro Trejano
etching by A Moschetti @ 1843

A detailed and intricate work by Italian etcher, A. Moschetti.  I have found little information on #Moschetti but he was very talented as can be seen from this etching of #ForoTrejano.

Posted in Etching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art in Pairs

This week I picked up four pieces from two different artists – two per artist.

In Der Campagna von Rom etching by Johann Adam Klein @ 1846

In Der Campagna von Rom
etching by Johann Adam Klein @ 1846

 

A Napoli etching by Johann Adam Klein @ 1844

A Napoli
etching by Johann Adam Klein @ 1844

Two fine etchings from a German artist. #JohannAdamKlein (1792-1875) painted a number of battle scenes which made him celebrated throughout Germany. Klein excelled as a painter of horses and portraits. He was also an engraver of wonderful ability and he reproduced many of his own works and also the pictures of other artists.  Klein had early and continuing success as an etcher, publishing his first prints at the age of nineteen, in 1811.  As with many artists of the time, he made many walking and sketching tours which supplied subjects for his etchings.

A Quiet Corner, Seaton Sluice by Charles Smith @ 1924

A Quiet Corner, Seaton Sluice
by Charles Smith @ 1924

 

Old Hartley from St Mary's Island by Charles Smith @ 1924

Old Hartley from St Mary’s Island by Charles Smith @ 1924

#CharlesSmith was an artist from the north east of England.  These two watercolours reflect a time not too long past.  A couple of hundred years ago, #SeatonSluice was the centre of a flourishing coal and glass trade, exporting to western Europe. For its size, Seaton Sluice was the centre of greater commercial activity than any other town on the North East coast, with ships of up to 300 tons burden visiting the tiny harbour.  There were 30-odd pits in the district near Hartley township where the coal was mined. Employing hundreds of seamen, and providing a living for miners, ropemakers, sailmakers, shipbuilders etc.  Today, Seaton Sluice has changed into a quiet resort which shows little sign of its industrial past.  The bottleworks and ships have long since gone, and the Seaton Burn trickles gently down into the once busy little harbour, where small fishing boats now occupy the moorings.

Posted in Etching, Watercolour paintings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art From Ceylon

The country once known as #Ceylon is now since 1972 known as Sri Lanka.  At the time that these four paintings were done the WWII was possibly just over.

Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon by M G Prater 1945

Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon
by M G Prater 1945

I would love to tell you about these paintings and whom they are by but I have not found the artist in my search.  There is no sign of the war in any of the four paintings presented in this chapter just a sublime beauty of a nature.  On the rear of this first painting, written in pencil, is an inscription which I can only read. But part of it reads ‘Maha Kudugala, Ragala Rock with (Guattell?) and Madulsima Range’.

Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon by M G Prater 1945

Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon
by M G Prater 1945

We move to a closer view of #MahaKudugala and #Ragala Rock.  I love the simpleness of these paintings.  Detail is not necessary to portray beauty.  Broad strokes and variation of colour are enough to imbue life and joy into them.  War and its’ ravages here are hidden behind natures beauty.

From the mountains to the coast and a small village of #Karaitivu.

Karaitivu, Ceylon by M G Prater 1945

Karaitivu, Ceylon
by M G Prater 1945

What a country this is!  From mountains to beautiful beaches.  Dugouts line the beach ready for fishing.  A tranquil scene of sun, sand and palm trees.  Once again done in broad strokes and washes of colour.

And from this beach if one looked out over the water one would see our next image.

Kayts Island from Karaitivu, Ceylon by M G Prater 1945

Kayts Island from Karaitivu, Ceylon
by M G Prater 1945

Kayts Island, small and idyllic.  A series of paintings from an artist who has found love and joy in a land even when war has savaged the world.  Even to this place war came.

Posted in Watercolour paintings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historical Photography as Art

I have only a few photographs in my collection but I acquired one the other day that qualifies as art as well as history.  Being a Canadian living in England this photo intrigued me because of where it came from.

Arthur William Patrick Albert Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Photograph by J Inglis 1870

Arthur William Patrick Albert
Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Photograph by J Inglis 1870

I purchased the photograph because it was taken in Montreal.  Beneath the portrait a signature ‘Arthur’ appears as well as June 1870.  This means it was taken just 3 years after Canada as a nation was formed.

The photographer was #JamesInglis (1835-1904).  Born in Scotland, James Inglis  began his photographic career in St. Catherines, Ontario and opened his Montreal, Quebec studio in 1866.  By 1871 his well established studio employed 25 staff  with 2 photographers, two artists, and 1 retoucher.  In 1875, Inglis moved his shop and set up just feet away from his main competitor, William Notman.  The McCord Museum in Montreal has a wonderful collection of photographs by William Notman.  In 1884, Inglis moved to Chicago and later died in 1904 in an accidental explosion during an experiment.

Arthur William Patrick Albert 2 photograph by James Inglis 1870

Arthur William Patrick Albert 2
photograph by James Inglis 1870

The subject in this portrait is #ArthurWilliamPatrickAlbert, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.  He was the seventh child of Queen Victoria and third son – supposedly her favourite.  Prince Arthur was a career soldier.  His regiment spent a year in Montreal and he served on the Red River expedition in 1870.  He rose in rank and in 1902 was promoted to Field Marshal.  Prince Arthur later returned to Canada as Governor-General.  The first royal to hold the position.  The Duke served as Governor-General of Canada from 1911 to 1916.  He clearly had great affection for the country and was very popular.  Many Canadian places and institutions were named after him.

Arthur William Patrick Albert 3 photograph by James Inglis 1870

Arthur William Patrick Albert 3
photograph by James Inglis 1870

A little piece of Canada’s history and art as well.

 

Posted in Photographs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Art of Line & Colour 2

A little over a year ago I discussed a local artist by name of #PeterNuttall and I have managed to add a third piece by this artist to my collection.  Another local artist will also be covered in this chapter.

Girl with Violin by Peter Nuttall 1997

Girl with Violin
by Peter Nuttall 1997

A wonderful piece to add to my collection.  It is so typically Peter Nuttall.  A sublime yet minimalistic line drawing – then with a ochre wash added.  There is no excess of line here. Just the necessary with which to portray  the girl playing her violin as she leans upon a tree beneath the moon.  A warmth of colour endued by the wash gives a soft welcome to our intrusion into this young ladies melancholic moment.  Is it possible that the image was inspired by the song ‘Moonlight Serenade’ one verse of which is cited here below

“The stars are aglow and tonight how their light sets me dreaming
My love, do you know that your eyes are like stars brightly beaming?
I bring you and I sing you a moonlight serenade”

We move to an artist who, alas, is no longer with us.

Lidia by Richard Sell in conte crayon

Lidia
by Richard Sell in conte crayon

#RichardSell was a teacher and artist. Not only an artist but a lithographer.  A patient man for he did not work with metal plates as so many of today’s artists but he loved to work with stone.  His patient, unhurried style was a boon when working his stones.  He was also a portraitist of rare quality.  A superb draughtsman, he was greatly in demand for his pencil portraits, particularly from members of Cambridge University.  He loved the intricacies of ancient architecture and the “Cambridge Lace” or ornamental wrought-iron work in Cambridge.

A fine work from a talented artist.

Posted in Drawings and Sketches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Art of Postcards

Postcards are not something which I deliberately search for when looking at art to expand my collection but the other day I did add some postcards to my collection.  I chose these 26 postcards since they were from 1907  and produced by #RaphaelTuck&Sons.

The Peasants' Revolt 1381 postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons 1907

The Peasants’ Revolt 1381
postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons 1907

Three sets of six cards (a complete series) in their original envelopes and all unused are from the #StAlbansPageant in 1907.  The other eight are of ‘The Lord Mayor’s Show’.  This time not in their original package envelope but still all unused.

Tuck set up business in 1866 which sold pictures and greeting cards, and eventually selling postcards, the latter being the most successful.  Their business was one of the most well known in the ‘postcard boom’ of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Their contributions left a lasting effect on most of the artistic world.  The company headquarters, Raphael House, was destroyed during ‘The Blitz’ with the loss of the originals for most of their series. The company recovered to some degree but never fully.

A Captive Boadicea postcard by Raphael Tuck 1907

A Captive Boadicea
postcard by Raphael Tuck 1907

One of the  presidents of the Royal Academy stated in regards to Tuck’s influence on art.  He said, “Mr. Tuck’s graphic productions were likely more effective than all of the art galleries in the world.”  Tuck postcards have decorated drawing rooms in elegant mansions as well as country cottages with their uneven, smoky walls.  This art connoisseur observed that the world’s art galleries could only reach a few people while Mr. Tuck’s postcards went to millions of individuals at every level of society.

From humble beginnings to a world wide phenomenon.

But postcards can be very personal indeed as with this hand painted card of #TheWeavers in Canterbury.  It is one of the most photographed buildings in Canterbury.

The Weavers, Canterbury postcard painted by Mrs. Hill 1949

The Weavers, Canterbury
postcard painted by Mrs. Hill 1949

Small but nicely done.  To receive such a card would show that time had been taken to correspond and it being hand painted a step above the ordinary photo postcard.

I will continue to add postcards to my collection when I find them.  As pieces of art and pieces of history they worth collecting.

The Lord Mayor's Show postcard by Raphael Tuck & Son @ 1907

The Lord Mayor’s Show
postcard by Raphael Tuck & Son @ 1907

Posted in Modern prints, Watercolour paintings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment