Art Drawn

I come across drawings while I search for pieces to add to my collection to blog about.  Many are unsigned and not readily identifiable, but I add them to my collection and would like to share a number of them to you.  And so mostly images and few words in this weeks post.

Costume 1 by unknown artist

Costume 1 by unknown artist

Costume 2 by unknown artist

Costume 2 by unknown artist

Costume 3 by an unknown artist

Costume 3 by an unknown artist

Costume 4 by an unknown artist

Costume 4 by an unknown artist

I begin with four coloured drawings of costumes used in an opera.  Only the last gives any clue as to which opera, where it took place and who partook in the roles thereof.  The final image is of the sublime soprano #DameKiriTeKanawa dressed in a bird-like costume .  The opera was presented at the #RoyalNavalCollege.  I do not know if all the drawings are costumes from a single opera but I do believe them to be by the same artist or designer.  A wonderfully colourful show with magnificent costumes.

Let’s wander from the stage to the page and look at a couple of drawings from an illustrator of stories.

Story Illustration 1 by GB

Story Illustration 1 by GB

Story Illustration 2 by GB

Story Illustration 2 by GB

I have found another illustration by GB on-line but not his/her full name.  These pen and ink drawings have a familiar feel to them as if in my youth I have might have read the story.

To a pencil drawing which could have come from a Dickens novel.

Pencil Drawing by unknown artist

Pencil Drawing by unknown artist

And finally to a drawing from a Bronte novel or perhaps ‘Gone with the Wind’.

The Proposal - artist mongram and dated

The Proposal – artist mongram and dated

All of these drawings display a talent and ease with pen and pencil.  The telling of story in picture form both to capture the imagination and inform of the story.

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Art by E M Synge

#EdwardMillingtonSynge (pronounced sing) was born in 1860 in Great Malvern.  Educated in Norwich and then Trinity College, Cambridge.  He became a land agent.  He loved to draw and one day saw an advert in a shop window saying ‘Etching taught here’.  And so this artist found, by accident, the field of art which was to become his future.

Embrun Cathedral etching by Edward Millington Synge @ 1901

Embrun Cathedral etching by Edward Millington Synge @ 1901

He continued his studies at the Westminster School of Art and was advised in his studies by Franke Short and Sir Seymour Haden.  Synge began displaying at major etching exhibitions.  In 1891 he retired from his day job as a land agent and devoted himself to his art.  He travelled to Paris (1901) to work along side Carolus Durant and where he set up his own studio.  While in Paris, he illustrated ‘The Story of the World’ a book authored by his sister.  Travels into Italy and then Spain led to some of his most beautiful and intricate work.  He married in 1908 to Miss F. Maloney, an artist erself.  Synge moved back to England and continued to work in a charming studio in Surrey.  He died in 1913.  Over the last number of years Synge aided by his wife printed all his own works.  Many of his 370 plates were for ‘The Art Journal’ and ‘The Graphic’ magazines.

The image above is of #EmbrunCathedral.  It was a Roman Catholic Cathedral but is now a national monument of France.  The interior has an elaborate Baroque high altar inlaid in coloured marbles, recently rediscovered frescoes, and an organ (the oldest working in France) donated by Louis XI.  The image is of the north nave aisle showing it’s monuments and end chapel.  A superb atmospheric etching by a sublimely talented artist.

 

 

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Art of Royalty 2

Royalty has long been a favourite subject for artists.  Sometimes because they were reimbursed for it and other times for the sake of history to mark a personage or event.

Queen Victoria engraved by Henry Brian Hall @ 1850

Queen Victoria
engraved by Henry Brian Hall @ 1850

We begin with a wonderful engraving by #HenryBryanHall (1808-1884) of #QueenVictoria who reigned from 1837 to 1901.  The length of her reign (longest to date) will shortly be surpassed by our present Queen Elizabeth.  The engraving comes from a book titled ‘Lives of Illustrious Women of England’ by J Tillotson.  A book to honour women of royal, noble, or celebrated status.  It is embellished by a number of fine engravings of the women honoured.

Charles IX King of France after Thomas de Leu @ 1850

Charles IX King of France
after Thomas de Leu @ 1850

#CharlesIX, King of France engraved by an unknown artist.  It is a very fine copy of the portrait done by #ThomasdeLeu.  It is pressed onto wove paper so stems from 1850 and onwards.  Charles reigned from 1560 to 1574. He saw tension between Protestants and Catholics break out into war in 1562.  Through his trying to appease the combatants he became very unpopular in the eyes of both sides.  He then aligned himself and with the instigation of his mother (Catherine de’ Medici) he allowed the massacre of all Huguenots who had come to Paris to attend the royal wedding, thus crippling the Huguenot movement.  It is now known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

Edward Alley'n etching by Etiene Bocourt @ 1800

Edward Alley’n etching by Etiene Bocourt @ 1800

And finally to a different type of royalty.  #EdwardAlleyn etched by #EtieneBocourt.  Mr. Alleyn was ‘King of the Boards’.  Of his early career little is known but by 1585, he was rated the foremost actor of his time.  Lead roles in plays by Marlowe, Greene, and Kyd were his.  He retired in 1598 at the height of his career.  Queen Elizabeth was such a fan that she requested his return to the stage.  He complied but not until 1604 a year after her death.  He is remembered not only for his prowess as an actor but also for the founding of Dulwich College and Alleyns School.

 

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From Rossini to Morris

The way I collect art is for most collectors of art so very random and non-specific. I do not search for works by an artist or visit galleries, or art auctions to collect but rely solely on people donating art pieces to charity.  But as I have said in other posts, I continue to be amazed at what people donate to charities to be sold.

So, today we will travel from ancient Italy with Luigi Rossini to modern England and William Morris.

Veduta di fianco del Campidoglio Romano by Luigi Rossini @1817

Veduta di fianco del Campidoglio Romano by Luigi Rossini @1817

#LuigiRossini, the last great etcher of Roman antiquities, graduated as both artist and architect from the Academy of Bologna.  In 1813, he moved to Rome to continue his studies and began to etch the beauties of Rome.  Most of his works were collected and published in a series of seven folio sized volumes entitled ‘Antichita Romane’ in 1829.

His etchings of basilicas, temples, public baths, and other monuments reveal the power and magnificence of Rome.  His depictions were so accurate that students of architecture used them as aids in their studies. His etchings include a number of monuments which no longer exist.  Rossini loved to place figures of local citizens and nobles into his images creating a more picturesque and vitalised image.

When one thinks of #WilliamMorris (1834-1896) one generally is considering his designing of tapestries, wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, and stained glass windows but Morris was so much more. He was textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and social activist. At this point, I must admit that when I bought this it was framed and so only the page with the woodcuts was visible so was surprised to find that it folded out into something bigger.

Cupid and Psyche story and woodcut by William Morris

Cupid and Psyche
story and woodcut by William Morris

Although his epic poem was published with great acclaim in 1868-70, the woodblocks and engravings for the images which Morris created from Edward Burne-Jones’ drawings for a later lavishly illuminated version were never used.  Trial tests were done but the union of text and image was found wanting and the project was shelved.  In the 1880’s a small number of sets (total number unknown) were printed in another hopeful trial.  But it was not until 1973 that the illustrations and poem were re-united and successfully printed by Will Carter at the Rampant Lions Press, in Cambridge.   Carter printed from Morris’ original woodblocks and some of the original Troy type from the Kelmscott Press (now in the Cambridge University Press collection) to complete a limited run of the book in 1974.

Cupid and Psyche story and woodcuts by William Morris

Cupid and Psyche story and woodcuts by William Morris

 

Syrinx and Psyche  woodcut by William Morris @ 1860

Syrinx and Psyche
woodcut by William Morris @ 1860

Psyche fording the River woodcut by William Morris @ 1860

Psyche fording the River
woodcut by William Morris @ 1860

So, when unfolded the single page became four pages of the poem.

Enjoy and maybe go and read the rest of this poem written by William Morris.

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German Art

Just been to Berlin for a long weekend and enjoyed the Kupferstichkabinett (Print Gallery) special display called ‘Gone to the Dogs’.  A collection of their prints and drawings which include canines in the image.  Durer, Rembrandt, Nicholson to name a few.  Covering centuries of art. Superb works and but a few of their collection.

Fischerhafen etching by Karl Hachez @ 1910

Fischerhafen
etching by Karl Hachez
@ 1910

A fine etching by German artist #KarlHachez of the fishing fleet docked at Swinemunde.  Karl (or Carl) Hachez was born in 1880 in Oldenburg, Germany. He based himself in Berlin and was known as an etcher, portrait painter, landscape painter and poster creator.  He studied art in Berlin and Paris.  A poster designer in Germany during WWI meant creating visually arresting images incorporating graphics, words and images.  Communicating through those words, colours, and shapes the intended message.  Often a message of nationalism or to encourage support for the war in which they were engaged.  He died in 1958.

Now to two images which will be of interest to all ‘royal’ watchers out there.  Two pages (plates X and XB) from ‘The Cyclopaedia’  by #AbrahamRees  printed in 1819.  The pages display the Crowns, Coronets, Mitres of the royal families and leadership positions of Europe.

Crowns, Coronets, and Mitres from 'The Cyclopaedia' by Abraham Rees @ 1819

Crowns, Coronets, and Mitres from ‘The Cyclopaedia’ by Abraham Rees @ 1819

 

Crowns, Coronets, and Mitres from 'The Cyclopaedia' by Abraham Rees @ 1819

Crowns, Coronets, and Mitres from ‘The Cyclopaedia’ by Abraham Rees @ 1819

Headdresses which we might see only on a few occasions in our lifetime and some which may not exist any longer.

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Frederick Varley Art

I picked up a couple of pieces this week which were created because an artist found a niche in the market and needed money.  This allowed him to survive and eventually move to Canada where he continued and expanded his artistic view.

Desert Scene by Frederick Horsma Varley

Desert Scene
by Frederick Horsma Varley @ 1905

#FrederickHorsmanVarley (1881-1969) was born in Sheffield and studied art while at school.  He continued his studies in Antwerp but returned to live in Sheffield where he worked on the docks.  To make ends meet he was advised to paint desert scenes of North Africa for the London art market. He painted Arabian desert scenes with Arab’s and camels along the Nile River. He also produced watercolours of Arabian markets and seascapes.  On the advise of #ArthurLismer he emigrated to Canada in 1912 where Lismer also went to reside.

Desert Ruin by Frederick Horsman Varley @ 1905

Desert Ruin
by Frederick Horsman Varley @ 1905

He served in the 1st World War where his artistic talent led him to be commissioned as a war artist. His paintings of combat are based on his experiences at the front.

For my Canadian readers, you might be wondering why his name as well as Lismer’s might just be slightly familiar.  Well, after moving to Canada, Frederick Horsman Varley and Arthur Lismer became founding members of the ‘Group of Seven’ artists.  Varley is known for his landscapes.  He painted people in green, pink, or purple.  He was one of two from the the #GroupofSeven to paint portraits.  He painted Canadian wilderness that had been damaged by fire or harsh climates. Varley’s major contribution to art is his work with the Group of Seven.

We finish with another enlisted artist. Capt. G F Atkinson.  Curry and Rice (on Forty Plates), or the Ingredients of Social Life at ‘Our’ Station in India.  The book satirizes British officials and residents in a fictional village of Kabob in India, affectionately referred to as ‘Our Station’. The people and places are probably caricatures of those Atkinson encountered as a Captain in the Bengal Engineers. Atkinson drew all 40 plates in the book. Each plate is accompanied by a brief description.

Our Coffee Shop by Capt G F Atkinson @ 1859

Our Coffee Shop by Capt G F Atkinson @ 1859

Atkinson, certainly, was not afraid to make fun of authority figures in the province.

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Naive Art

I come across pieces of naive art as I continue to build my collection.  #NaiveArt has a child-like quality but is not childish in any way.  Often one considers that the creators of this type of art are untrained but that is often not the case.  It is characterized by it’s simplicity and by the freedom afforded the artist.  Rules do not apply in regards to perspective, composition, and colouring.  Naïve Art also expresses a sense of joy, happiness, spontaneity, and the combining of these elements often results in an unbalanced, but extremely suggestive form of beauty.

New York by Day lithograph by Shalom Moskovitz @ 1980's

New York by Day
lithograph by Shalom Moskovitz @ 1980’s

We begin with #ShalomMoskovitz an Israeli artist from the town of Safed.  Shalom worked for most of his life as a watchmaker.  At the age of 55, as his eyesight weakened he turned to the painting of toys and then to pen and watercolours.   He became an internationally famous naïve painter.  He was the only truly indigenous Eretz Yisraeli naive artist.  Self-taught and embodying a unique talent, he became the only great biblical illustrator Israel ever produced.  He was recognized internationally as one of the outstanding naives of the second half of this century.

Findhorn, Scotland by Alex McAdam

Findhorn, Scotland by Alex McAdam

#AlexMcAdam is a Glaswegian, who after serving in the forces lived a Bohemian life in Greece, Israel, and Holland. He returned to Scotland in 2009.  He is a double amputee but still has a zest for life, which is reflected in his personality and his paintings.

Two naive artists which deserve their fine reputations.  I have learned to look at naive art with a different eye and have a deeper appreciation of it.

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A ‘More’ Portrait

I acquired a fine print this past week.  An historical figure from England.  A man who had power and influence in government.  The print is done by a man well respected in the art.  They lived some 250 years apart.

Thomas More, Lord Chancellor stipple engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi  @ 1793

Thomas More, Lord Chancellor stipple engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi @ 1793

An absolutely lovely stipple engraving by the great #FrancescoBartolozzi of #ThomasMoreLordChancellor of England.  Bartolozzi has based his engraving on a drawing by Hans Holbein and it was published on October 1, 1793 by I. Chamberlaine.  Stunning technique join with subtle colouring bring to life this image of Thomas More.  And no small image at that.  It is roughly 16″ by 12″.  Bartolozzi was born in Italy but spent a great part of his productive life in London.  He lived in London for 40 years. This print of More is one of a series done by Bartolozzi after portraits done by Holbein of influential men and women in British society.

Sir Thomas More was a lawyer and councillor to Henry VIII.  He was Lord High Chancellor of England for three years .  He opposed the Protestant Reformation especially Tyndale’s and Luther’s theology.  More opposed Henry’s separation from the Catholic Church by refusing to acknowledge him as head of the Church of England and by denying his requested annulment from Catherine of Aragon.  For his stance More was tried and convicted of treason and was beheaded.

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From Gauffering to Gauging

Two topics which were often seen in years past but which are seldom seen today.  This chapters’ focus is on two books which I have recently come across.  One gauffered and the other an instruction manual for gauging.

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

 

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

We do not often see gauffering today but it was once a popular way of adding something special to a book.  #Gauffering describes the act of applying a patterned decoration to the block edges of a book.  Gauffering is used most often seen on books with gold or gilded edges.  The pattern is imprinted using heated metal stamps and rollers.  One can also find books with painted images on the edges which also falls under the description of gauffering, I believe.

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

From the edges of a book to a treatise for the learning of gauging.  We do not teach gauging any more since it is all done by computer now.  A gauger was in years past was an officer of the Royal Revenue Excise and Duty.

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter 1755 4th edition

#TheRoyalGauger by Charles Leadbetter 1755 4th edition

This treatise by #CharlesLeadbetter is an instruction manual for the training and learning of Excise men.  Being an excise man, one needed to work out the areas, volumes, weight etc. of solid, liquid, and gas measures to then calculate the tax which would then be payable to the Revenue.  These men used what we might call a slide rule to work out these measures.

Everards Sliding Rule as improved by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

Everards Sliding Rule as improved by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

#ThomasEverard is credited with the development of the sliding rule in 1683.  There is a chapter on the use of such an instrument to assist in the calculations required for excise.  Leadbetter did not trust printed tables for he said they could be forged and rewritten.  But then one might also say that dodgy excise man using a slide rule no one else knows how to use might also be capable of committing fraud.  The book I have is some 508 pages of tutoring for the calculating of almost everything that an excise man would come across.  It’s plain brown cover has been held often and long.  I would love to say it was in great shape but it is not. Pages 275 to 314 are missing as well as several folded inserts (I believe) but then again it was printed in 1755 and has been often held and well used.  As I page through, I am amazed at the amount of math which was required knowledge. An impressive manual.

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

 

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

 

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