Art of Myles Birket Foster

Today a chapter on one of the most popular artists of the Victorian period.  He was both illustrator and watercolourist – expert in both.  Born in 1825 , the seventh child of a brewer his talent as an artist was nurtured while in school as well as from tutors.  He joined the family bottling business and only went on to do the thing he loved -painting- when he suffered a severe accident with a broken bottle.

The Ride on the Donkey engraving by Miles Birket Foster

The Ride on the Donkey
engraving by Miles Birket Foster

At 16, #MylesBirketFoster became an apprentice #woodengraver under Ebeneezer Landells.  He quickly honed his art must have certainly been influenced by family friend Thomas Bewick (possibly the greatest wood engraver ever).  He produced work for PUNCH magazine and THE LONDON ILLUSTRATED NEWS.  He worked in collaboration with Edmund Evans and Henry Vizetelly.  He travelled widely working on travel books as well as poetry.

Engraving was not Birket Fosters chosen artistic field.  He was an illustrator, who although doing some of his own engraving, worked with engravers to produce his desired images.  In fact he created few original etchings.  The first two shown here are a couple of those etchings.  They are signed in the image with his monogram and titled in pencil (not shown) below the image but within the plate mark on heavy paper.

Going to the Well engraving by Myles Birket Foster

Going to the Well
engraving by Myles Birket Foster

Birket Foster was encouraged to follow his love of painting by his wife.  He painted rustic scenes and landscapes.  He built an elaborate house at Witley near Godalming.  His depictions of the Surrey countryside are still loved today.  His meticulously painted images of Victorian life are proof to his astonishing technical skill.  He became very ill in 1893. He was forced to sell his house along with his large collection of art.  He continued to painted until his death in 1899.

The Wood-wain engraving by Myles Birket Foster

The Wood-wain
engraving by Myles Birket Foster

A superb talent in both the engraving and painting fields.

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Art of St Paul’s Cathedral

When visiting #London, one of the sites to see is #St.Paul’sCathedral. I have been a number of times and this chapter is about some of the artworks which I have in regards to St. Paul’s.  Most are from regular points of view in regards to the cathedral but one is certainly a rarity which can no longer be appreciated by visitors to the cathedral or in fact anyone for it no longer exists.  I will go through chronologically almost, but will leave the most interesting artwork to last.  Two published etchings, a photograph, one artist pressed etching and a drawing with wash are this chapters images.

St. Paul's Cathedral from Winkle'as cathedrals @ 1840

St. Paul’s Cathedral from Winkle’as cathedrals @ 1840

 

St Paul's from Cheapside published by Colnaghi @ 1840

St Paul’s from Cheapside
published by Colnaghi
@ 1840

Two hand coloured etchings showing St.Paul’s from different angles.  In many ways St. Paul’s still dominates the sky line of the city of London. An iconic building for many a year and for many more.

St Paul's Cathedral photograph

St Paul’s Cathedral
photograph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To an early photograph of St Paul’s from across the Thames.  Taken from close to where the new Millennium Bridge originates on the south side of the river.  Taken, I believe, around 1920 with a very busy waterfront.

 

 

 

 

Now, much of the water front has been redeveloped into condominiums, and flats and areas for people to meet and gather. Now to an artist pressed etching which shows St Paul’s beyond Orsman Road.  Done by M. Brand in 1976.

The Canal at Orsman Road by M. Brand @ 1976

The Canal at Orsman Road by M. Brand @ 1976

 

 

Now to an image of something few saw even when it was present in the cathedral.  During WWII London was bombed extensively by the Germans.  St. Paul’s was amazingly directly hit only once and it occurred on the 16th April, 1941.  A very large bomb did hit outside but did not exploded.  It was carefully dug out of the crater it created and taken safely away to be exploded outside the city.  But I want to talk about the one that did hit St. Paul’s.  I have seen three photos of the #St.Paul’sCathedralCrater and yesterday purchased a drawing with wash done by A. Butler in 1941.

St Paul's Cathedral Crater by A Butler @1941

St Paul’s Cathedral Crater
by A Butler @1941

It is drawn from an angle which few people would have had access to.  Drawn from inside the crypt beneath the hole which was created in the floor of the cathedral looking up into the dome.  Few people let alone artists would have been allowed into the area for safety reasons.  An image from an event in history few might now recall – most would not even know that it happened.  A time worth remembering for many and varied reasons.

 

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Art of Sister Maria Innocentia

Few will recognize the name of Sister Maria Innocentia, which is the name she took when she became a nun.  But at the mention of her last name many will associate ceramic figurines with her for her last name was Hummel.

Do I Dare charcoal & pastel drawing by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel

Do I Dare
charcoal & pastel drawing by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel

#BertaHummel was born in 1909.  Her artistic talent was spotted early by her father and she went on to study art in Munich.  She came from a devout Catholic family and after her studies she applied to join the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen.  She was accepted as a postulate and as a novice taking the name #SisterMariaInnocentia.  The convent used her talents by sending her to local schools to teach art.  She loved to draw pictures of children and the convent was so impressed they sent them to a publisher.  He loved them and published them in postcard form and later a number of her drawings in Das Hummel-Buch.  The postcards and book were seen by porcelain artwork factory owner named #FranzGoebel who was looking for a new line to produce.  An agreement was reached and Goebel was given sole right to create the figurines on her artwork.  The figurines became popular and although the war years slowed sales they were buoyed by American servicemen buying and taking them home when on leave.  Her painting titled ‘The Volunteers’ was denounced by Hitler and the distribution of her art was forbidden in Germany.

Looks Like Rain  charcoal and pastel drawing by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel

Looks Like Rain
charcoal and pastel drawing by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel

Hummel also drew sketches that contained the Star of David, a dangerous theme in those times. She drew angels in gowns covered with slightly skewed six-pointed stars. She designed items for the convent.  Her ‘Stations of the Cross’ truly express her artistic individuality. She symbolized the juncture of the Old and New Testaments by designing a cross with a menorah before it.  Sister Maria was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1944 she survived to see the French liberate the convent but died on 6 November 1946 at the youthful age of 37.  Goebel ceased producing the figurines in 2008 even though they remain popular.

A life too short, a talent gone but her legacy remains and will, I hope, continue for a long time into the future.

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Art in Atlas Form

Certainly, I enjoy looking at the maps which I have but not until I collected a few had I really considered them as an art form.  In fact they are a very specific art form which has both beauty and use.  As I stated in the last chapter I recently purchased an atlas.  An atlas produced by Cassell around 1860.  Sad to say it is not complete but has an interesting twist to it.

England & Wales from Cassell's British Atlas @ 1860

England & Wales from Cassell’s British Atlas
@ 1860

 

England & Wales from Cassell's British Atlas @ 1860

England & Wales from Cassell’s British Atlas
@ 1860

Although the atlas hard cover reads Cassell’s General Atlas the title page reads Cassell’s British Atlas.  It contains a good number of the maps of the counties but, alas, not all.  The maps are drawn by #EdwardWeller, #JohnDower, B R Davies, and #JWLowry. The complete #Cassell’sBritishAtlas consists of 122 maps consisting of the counties of England and Wales, divisional maps of Scotland and Ireland, separate maps of cities and towns, and others.  Cassell’s sold their atlas as separate pages available to those who bought their ‘Weekly Dispatch’ paper. One page a month.  This collection of maps eventually grew to include much of the known world.  And this is where my atlas diverts back to what the cover title states for the last third of my atlas is made up of maps of countries. #Cassell’sGeneralFolioAtlas was made up of 60 maps of the countries of the world.

The World on Mercator's Projection by Edward Weller @ 1860

The World on Mercator’s Projection by Edward Weller @ 1860

 

Asia by Edward Weller @ 1860

Asia by Edward Weller
@ 1860

Once again not a complete set but a set of maps from a time gone.

Beautiful artworks created by superb technicians/craftsmen.  Made to be gazed upon as beauty and source of information.  Used by explores, traders, and common folk.  Now appreciated by others in a different time.

 

 

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Art of Maps II

The maps in my collection cover many areas and times and recently I picked up an atlas.  The art of map-making was at it’s most beautiful in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Prior to that maps were on the the most part utilitarian.  Undecorated and used only for navigation.  Maps came in two types – what we might call a standard aerial view and a landscape or perspective view.  I have a number of each type.

Plan Geometrique de la Plan de Paris by Charles Picquet @ 1837

Plan Geometrique de la Plan de Paris
by Charles Picquet @ 1837

A fine map of #Paris from 1837 by #CharlesPicquet (1771-1827) – map maker to the king . Published after his death this map was most likely drawn around 1826.  A detailed map which includes not only street names but also major sites of interest and importance.  No street index is found on the map so it was most probably on an additional sheet.  I have not yet found this exact map in my research so can tell you little about it.

To a perspective view of the city of #Chester. A view from the south drawn by #JBoydell in 1749.

South View of the City of Chester by John Boydell @1749

South View of the City of Chester by John Boydell @1749

At times, these perspective views have the names of prominent buildings and places added onto them to inform one what they are looking at although this is a more European trait than English.  These perspective views were also used in the mapping of specific places as is seen in the last of the images which is the #EastViewof theRuinsofthe AbbeyofReading done by M. Blackamore in 1759.  I’m afraid this print has been water stained but one can still appreciate the mapping idea which this image portrays.

East View of the Ruins of the Abbey of Reading by M Blackamore @ 1759

East View of the Ruins of the Abbey of Reading
by M Blackamore @ 1759

The beauty of maps both art and history in cohesive form.  To be admired and to be used.

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Art On Shore

The etchings today are of the sea as viewed from the shore.  A stormy sea, a shipwreck, low tide, and a calm coastal scene done by different artists.

The Morning After the Wreck etching by J Cousen @ 1847

The Morning After the Wreck
etching by J Cousen @ 1888

#TheMorningAftertheWreckofaDutchEastIndia-Man is this etchings full title.  Etched by #JCousen after a painting by C Stanfield.  Depicting the wreck of a freighter as it breaks up on a reef.  A fine depiction of the sea and those who struggle against it.  Here – a few insets to show how talented J Cousen was as an etcher.

The Morning After the Wreck Inset 1

The Morning After the Wreck Inset 1

The Morning After the Wreck Inset 2

The Morning After the Wreck Inset 2

Te Morning After the Wreck Inset 3

Te Morning After the Wreck Inset 3

Now a calmer coastal scene at low tide titled #OntheCoastofPicardy.  Etched by an unknown hand after a painting by #RichardParkesBonington.  Once again a wonderful steel engraving done in the first half of the 1800’s.

On the Coast of Picardy unknown etcher @ 1830

On the Coast of Picardy unknown etcher @ 1830

 

On The Coast of Picardy Inset 1

On The Coast of Picardy Inset 1

On The Coast of Picardy Inset 2

On The Coast of Picardy Inset 2

And to finish, a pastoral coastal scene.  Once again done by an unknown hand but from a painting by Albert Cuyp.  Etched around 1838.

Evening etching @ 1838

Evening
etching @ 1838

Evening Inset 1

Evening Inset 1

Evening Inset 2

Evening Inset 2

A post of few words but then wonderful works of art need not be long-winded but rather they are at times beyond words and need to be experienced .

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Art Aged

I often buy pieces which are not perfect.  They have been damaged in some way.  They may have age spots or imperfections in the paper or water stains.  To others they are lessened but I try to look past the imperfections to what once was.  Today two aquatint hunting scenes which have been injured through time.

The Chase aquatint - unknown engraver

The Chase
aquatint – unknown engraver

These two #foxhunting scenes have seen better days.  Both are stained.  The wood which was their backing cracked allowing moisture to affect the paper.

Death of the Fox aquatint unknown engraver

Death of the Fox
aquatint unknown engraver

Both have been cut to the plate mark removing the name of the etcher and I have not yet found either image in my searching.  Although damaged, they are still exquisite examples of  working in aquatint.  After being etched they were hand coloured.  They were and are in some ways still beautiful pieces.  I will continue to research them in the hope of finding who etched them.  And now to an etching which I talked about in a previous chapter ‘Art Flowing with Life’ and have now found more information on.

Moulin de la Galette by B Wilard ?

Le Moulin de la Galette
by B Wilard ? @ 1900

What I thought might have been a Dutch street scene with windmill turns out to be an etching of quite a well-known windmill.  This windmill is not found in Holland at all but in Paris.  It is ‘Le Moulin de la Galette’ on Rue Lepic in the Montmartre district.  In the 19th century the Debray family owned the mill and made a brown loaf called a galette and thus the name of the mill.  Since then it has had several incarnations.  It was a guinguette ( a place for drinking and dancing) and a restaurant.  #LeMoulindelaGalette has been immortalized in art by Renior, van Gogh, and Pissarro.  This etching depicts the mill as it was at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Art of Egypt

I find pieces of art which span the globe in their origin.  These pieces are not always done by artist who are native to or even reside in those distant lands.  More often they are by artists who have travelled to those lands of or have been sent to them.  In this chapter a couple of pieces from Egypt.

Awaiting the Procession watercolour by R. Murdoch Wright @ 1882-1890

Awaiting the Procession
watercolour by R. Murdoch Wright
@ 1882-1890

I have found little information about #RMurdochWright but he was a talented artist.  The paintings of his that I have seen are mainly of Egypt.  This one portrays a group of people awaiting a procession which has left the city in the background.  I believe this city to be Luxor.  This ancient city was the start of many a procession which took in procession the gods from their temples to Karnak, Deir el-Bahri and the royal memorial temples along the Nile’s west bank.  These processions were the only time that the people would see their gods. They travelled from far and wide and set up camp so that they would have favourable sight-lines to see their gods as they processed by.

Awaiting the ProcessionL

Awaiting the ProcessionL

 

Awaiting the ProcessionR

Awaiting the ProcessionR

With very fine brush work and a natural rendering of both man and animal.  A lovely sense of space and perspective catch the viewers eye and draws one in. Warm in colour.  All of these aspects join together to ask the viewer to wait for the procession to pass by.  From the fine work of Murdoch Wright  to what looked to me to be some interesting splashes of colour to create an image.  This painting is also interesting in that it has an image on both sides. The first image is titled Bahr el Ahmar, Jezira, Cairo while on the reverse it is titled The Left Flank Dock.  Both are done with splashes of colour large and quick brush work.

Bahr el Ahmar unknown artist - watercolour

Bahr el Ahmar
unknown artist – watercolour

 

The Left Flank Dock initialled TW

The Left Flank Dock
initialled TW

Even with their brash brush strokes they exude a depth of feeling.  With a vagueness of image yet they exact a feeling of correctness.  An artist who paints what he sees but allows himself a freedom to interpret what he sees.

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War Remembered through Art

With Remembrance Day having just gone by, I thought I might look at a few items I have collected with a connection to war.  I could talk about and use images from The Graphic Illustrated Newspaper (September to December 1870 – in my collection) which covers the Franco-Prussian War in great detail or several artists who were war artists but I would like to use a few photographs and one object to remember those who have fought for our freedoms.

Harts. Imperial Yeomanry Hitchin Troop 1902

Harts. Imperial Yeomanry
Hitchin Troop 1902

The  men pictured here took part in the campaigns in South Africa in 1902. The #Harts.ImperialYeomanry was a voluntary cavalry regiment which saw action in the Second Boer War.  The Yeomanry was created in 1899 and disbanded in 1908.

An Unknown Soldier

An Unknown Soldier

And we have a portrait of an unknown soldier who posed for this photo prior to going off to fight.  Who is he?  Did he return? Questions which could be asked in regards to all the men pictured so far.

The German Fleet in Scapa Flow 28 Novr. 1918

The German Fleet in Scapa Flow
28 Novr. 1918

And the to #WWI and the surrender of the German fleet.  We see #TheGermanFleetinScapaFlow.  The German fleet were interned there while negotiations were ongoing over the fate of the ships.  The German commander, Admiral Reuter, fearing that his ships would be given to the Allied forces decided to scupper his fleet.  The British guard ships managed to save 22 of the 74 ships.  Most of those that sank were salvaged over the following two decades.  Those that remain have become popular with divers. And finally to an object with a Welsh connection.

Royal Welsh Fusiliers Matchbox

Royal Welsh Fusiliers Matchbox

Royal Welsh Fusiliers Matchbox2

Royal Welsh Fusiliers Matchbox

 

A #RoyalWelshFusiliers matchbox from their Egypt campaign.  The Fusiliers saw a great deal of action in Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, the Western Desert, and Salonika campaigns.

Pieces of history and war.  A war that was to end all wars.  We will – we must remember them.  Those who fought so that we might enjoy the freedoms which we have.  Let us not take them for granted.  And to finish. John McCrae’s famous poem written in 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Art in Collaboration

This weeks chapter follows on from the previous in that it regards an image painted by #LouiseElizabethVigeeLeBrun.  The painting is entitled #L’InnonenceSeRefugiantDanLesBrasDeLaJustice or ‘Innocence Taking Refuge In The Arms Of Justice’.  It was painted in 1779.  It can be seen hanging in the Musee d’Anger.  But this post is not about the original (as wonderful as it is) but about the stipple engraving made from it by one of the great engravers.

L'Innocence se Refugiant dan les Bras de la Justice stipple engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi after Louisa Elizabeth Le Brun 1783

L’Innocence se Refugiant dan les Bras de la Justice stipple engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi after Louisa Elizabeth Le Brun 1783

#FrancescoBartolozzi (1727-1815) was born in Florence and started his artistic life as a painter but early on moved into engraving.  After studying engraving in Venice, Bartolozzi moved to London in 1764.  He lived in London for 40 years where he created enormous numbers of engravings.  Bartolozzi created many plates from the works of Cipriani and Angelica Kauffman.  He also produced several plates for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery.  He was appointed ‘Engraver to the King’ with a fine salary.  In 1802, he took up a post at the National Academy of Lisbon and died in Lisbon in 1815.

Although slightly damaged by age, this engraving shows the exquisite technique which Bartolozzi possessed.  Unlike the copy which is held by the British Museum, there appears on my print a royal crest, a dedication to the Queen (Marie Antoinette) and it was published in Paris.  A piece superbly executed by an artist of superb talent.

I will apologize – my research was incomplete – the British Museum do hold a print like mine but not exactly.  They hold a print without the crest and artist information published by Bartolozzi – they also hold a print with the crest, dedication to the Queen, and artist information published in Paris ‘Se vend a Paris ches Le Rouge rue de Clery No. 58′.  My prints’ final line reads ‘a Paris ches DANLOS, quai Malaquai 1.  Apologies for the inaccuracy.

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