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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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Art of Richard Doyle

In my eclectic collection, I have several books which might be considered art.  They are mostly ‘old’ and one of my favourites must be Richard Doyle’s (1824-1883) #InFairyland,aSeriesofPicturesfromtheElfWorld.  ‘In Fairyland’ is most certainly Doyle’s masterpiece.

The Fairy Queen's Airy Drive by Richard Doyle printed 1870

The Fairy Queen’s Airy Drive
by Richard Doyle
printed 1870

The book has been described as one of the finest examples of Victorian book production.  It set a new standard in the milieu of book production.  Luxuriously produced, with intricate engravings on wood by Edmund Evans ‘In Fairyland’ was designed as a treasure for households to cherish but, alas, it was priced at such a cost it was far too expensive for all but a few to buy.  Only a few of the 2000 from the original print run sold.  The remaining were sold as a re-issue in 1875 slightly altered from the original version.

Water-Lillies and Water Fairies by Richard Doyle 1870

Water-Lilies and Water Fairies
by Richard Doyle 1870

#RichardDoyle was trained by his father John Doyle a noted political caricaturist.

No restrictions were laid upon Doyle when asked to produce ‘In Fairyland’. This allowed his great talent and imagination freedom to roam in creating scenes of the fantastic and grotesque.

A Proposal by Richard Doyle 1870

A Proposal
by Richard Doyle 1870

The prodigiously talented Doyle illustrated numerous books and worked for Punch.  He drew the first cover and his design for the sixth edition in 1844 was taken as their mast head until 1954.

A gifted man but unreliable in the completion of commissions and with his disregard for deadlines.  Wild excuses even to the point of claiming to have no pencils with which to draw were regularly concocted.  Such amateurism led to Doyle’s decline.

It would have been a very successful life and career had this man been able to overcome his weaknesses but I and we are blessed with the wonderful works which remain as a reminder of his talent.

And yes. He is the uncle of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes.  An amazingly talented family.

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Art After 2

Last weeks chapter concentrated on the copying of an artists creation by another artist using a different medium to express that second image.  The second artists image is said to be ‘after’ the original artists but how close can one get without it being considered plagiarism.  I guess even today’s image is considered ‘after’ since it is a watercolour/gouache of an oil painting.

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage watercolour after JMW Turner @ 1830

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
watercolour after JMW Turner @ 1830

Today, #JosephMallordWilliamTurner (1775-1851) is possibly Britain’s best known artist.  His works are sought after by collectors and galleries around the world.

The watercolour/gouache to the left is a very fine copy of the Turner oil painting which hangs in the Tate, London.  I call it a watercolour for although the paint for the most part does seem to have been applied by brush it seems to sit in layers and not soak into the paper or the other colours as would be expected but that is how gouache works.  Gouache paint is similar to watercolour but modified to make it opaque. A binding agent, usually gum arabic is present, just as in watercolour.  Gouache differs from watercolour in that the particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much higher, and an additional, inert, white pigment such as chalk may also be present. This makes gouache heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities

The title comes from Lord Byron’s poem #ChildeHarold’sPilgrimage.  ‘Childe’ is old English for the son of a nobleman.  #Byron was moved by the poignant and breathtaking beauty of Italy’s past.  Turner displayed his oil painting with these lines from Byron’s poem:

… and now, fair Italy!

Thou are the garden of the world…

Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced

With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced.

Not being a painter, I find myself in awe of the techniques used in this painting.  The lovely rust and brown colours used imbue this painting with warmth, the colours with life.

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage 2

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage 2

I love how the reflections have been created and the selective use of a bright blue to focus the eye on the people at the picnic.  The layering of colours in the darker shadowed earth and in the foliage of the tree is finely done indeed.

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage 3

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage 3

A truly fine gouache using superb techniques in it’s presentation.

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage 4

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage 4

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Art After

A newly added etching inspires this weeks chapter.

When one copies an artist’s work, it could be called plagiarism if copied exactly but if one uses a different medium or is only influenced by the artist the art produced is said to be after such and such an artist.  Today a man who copied many wonderful pieces of art done by renowned artists and in so doing produced very fine renditions of these works in a different medium.

Waiting for Master etching by William Giller after Sir Edwin Landseer published April 6th, 1869

Waiting for Master
etching by William Giller after Sir Edwin Landseer
published April 6th, 1869

#William Giller (1805-1868) was an etcher of supreme talent.  ‘Waiting for Master’ was printed by L. Brall & Son of London after #WilliamGiller had died.  Although this etching is titled ‘Waiting for Master’ this is not the title which the original oil painting is known.  The original is called ‘Favourites, the Property of H.R.H. Prince George of Cambridge’.  It hangs in the Yale Center for British Art.  William Giller engraved hunting and sporting subjects as well as portraits.  By using various engraving techniques, Giller has managed to capture this image and imbue it with warmth and life.  The faithfulness of the dogs to stand and sit waiting for their master, the one holding his master’s whip and mounts reins in his mouth.  A days birding ahead – for three birds of prey sit hooded and waiting their time to fly.  A superb engraving and fine example of William Giller’s skill as an engraver.

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Art Known and Unknown

Often as I collect pieces of art, they may say or not by whom they are by.  It is then that my search begins for the artist who created the pieces that have intrigued me.  I have numerous pieces which I continue to search for information on.  Luckily many pieces are signed or depending on their pictorial content are not too hard to research.  Today, three etchings – one known – one researched  - and one not yey found.

Bacchus and Ariadne by JMW Turner/C Cousen etching @ 1878

Bacchus and Ariadne
by JMW Turner/C Cousen etching @ 1878

This very fine etching after #JMW Turner by C Cousens published by Virtue & Co, London, I believe, around 1878.  It has been lightly coloured  by hand.  The etching work is very fine.  Ariadne, daughter of Minos, King of Crete, was deserted by Theseus on the island of Naxos; the etching shows her discovery by Bacchus, who made her his bride.  The Roman god Bacchus was known as Dionysus by the Greeks. He was the youngest of the gods and the only one to have a mortal mother. Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, wine-making and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy.  An easy piece to research – the next slightly harder. #BacchusandAriadne

Yes Sir! Black Labradour Retriever - Bramshaw Bob by Rueben Ward Binks

Yes Sir! Black Labradour Retriever – Bramshaw Bob by Rueben Ward Binks

A truly beautiful aquatint with etching and then hand coloured.  It is, alas, slightly damaged by a water stain.  It has a monogram in the lower right side which says WB.  It took only a short time before I found out who the monogram belonged to.  When one deals with such fine quality etchings and colouring the artist is generally of some repute.  This is no exception. The etching is by #ReubenWardBinks a very well known canine artist.  He used a variety of media – dry point, etching, aquatint, pastel, and watercolour.  He painted dogs for three generations of the British royal family, and among his patrons were four successive monarchs.  He was frequently asked to attend the Royal shoots at Sandringham in order to sketch the sporting dogs at work.  #YesSir-BramshawBob.

And now to the unknown artist.

Penitents artist unknown @ 1843

Penitents
artist unknown @ 1843

A hand coloured aquatint entitled #Penitents.  It is a fine foil to another of my etchings which is called ‘Easter Blessing’.  They may even be from the same set or publication.  I will continue my search for information on this piece and maybe some day I might just stumble into something.

Easter Blessing hand-coloured aquatint

Easter Blessing
hand-coloured aquatint

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Art Over-shadowed

At times artists, although finely talented, are over-shadowed by others or even the place which they portray.  Two artists who might be in this category are Thomas Bushby and Joseph Middleton Jopling.

Barley Mow in Clifton Hampden by Thomas Bushby 1887

Barley Mow in Clifton Hampden
by Thomas Bushby 1887

We begin with #ThomasBushby (1861-1918).  An artist who lived in the Lake District.  As a resident of Carlisle, he is known for his watercolour studies of his adopted city.  The Lake District has probably inspired more artists of all persuasions than any other place in England.  This area has over-shadowed many an artist who has travelled here to gain inspiration and restoration.  Bushby was a watercolour artist and a fine one as can be seen from the ‘Barley Mow’.   The #BarleyMow is not found in the Lake District but just outside Oxford. It has been called ‘the best known of all Thames pubs’ and dates back to 1352.

Woman with Jar pen and ink sketch by Joseph Middleton Jopling

Woman with Jar
pen and ink sketch
by Joseph Middleton Jopling

#JosephMiddletonJopling (1831-1884)is not a well known artist.  Not untalented but not renowned.  He exhibited regularly; mainly domestic and historical subjects as well as flower and fruit pieces.  Jopling was self taught.  His works are overshadowed by those of his wife, #LouiseJopling, who was one of the most prominent female artists of her generation.  She established her own school for women artists in 1887 and published several pieces on the teaching of art.  Whether the woman in the sketch might be Louise Jopling, I do not know but it might just be.

Two artists of definite talent, overshadowed either by place or person, yet deserving of some reputation for the work which they created.

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Art of Bridges

Man has built things to assist his development from his beginning.  #Bridges and their development through time epitomise the changes in design and materials available to man’s ingenuity. So two very different bridges ancient and modern from two different parts of the world.

Francis Scott Key Bridge by G Rosse

Francis Scott Key Bridge
by G Rosse

If I have done my research correctly (I hope I have) this is the #FrancisScottKeyBridge  as seen from Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington DC.  It shows Georgetown University in the background.  It is a 6 lane concrete arched bridge called Route 29.  It was completed in 1923 and is Washington’s oldest surviving bridge across the Potomac River.  It was named after the composer of the American national anthem.

Why it has found its’ way across the ocean to England is unknown but it is fine image.  Although signed I am not sure the artist is C Grosse or G Rosse.

Double Arched Bridge artist unknown

Double Arched Bridge
artist unknown

To an old watercolour by an unknown artist of a #doublearchedstonebridge somewhere in the UK.  The painting has lists of numbers on the back so it suggests to me that it was painted by a surveyor while carrying out his work.  From the landscape I think somewhere in Scotland rather than England.

Two different bridges from two different centuries – different and yet much the same .

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