When my wife and I holiday, we tend to work out and plan what we might like to see and do. Our itinerary is not solid but is flexible on the chance that we encounter something we might like to see or do which we had not planned. Even so, one comes across things after the holiday is over and one thinks ‘I’d have done that if I had known about it’. This leads me to today’s piece of art.
We have been to Scotland a couple of times and I know that we have driven very close to ‘Burgie Tower’, Rafford, MorayBut we have not visited. Granted it does not quite appear as it does in this watercolour. Time has taken it’s toll and although it is now a ‘listed building’, finding funds to keep it in shape is challenging.
The tower was once a part of a Z-plan castle (towers on opposite corners of a rectangular keep) which was mostly demolished in the early 1800’s to provide stonework for Burgie House. The tower dates back to 1602 when it was built by Alexander Dunbar, Dean of Moray and is the only remaining part of the castle.
The watercolour comes from the earlier part of the 20th or late 19th century (I think). Accurate portrayal of the architecture is augmented by the subtle use of light shades of brown and green focusing the eye on the tower which is done in richer earthier tones. It is not signed. It displays a tower draped in ivy and possibly still a liveable residence (all windows and doors intact). A fine open view of the surrounds must have been had from the top of the tower.
I would like to see this in person some day knowing that I had been close already. A part of Scottish history hopefully to be preserved.
This past week, my eye was drawn to a book – #TheRevelationOfSaintJohnTheDivine. It was published in 1946. The text comes from the #KingJamesBible but it was the illustrations which drew me to the book. The depiction of scenes in lithographic form from the book of Revelations. #HansFeibusch (1898-1998) was a painter and sculptor of Jewish heritage who was born in Frankfurt am Mein, Germany. He served/fought on the Russian front during WWI but fled to England in 1933 to avoid Nazi persecution.
Feibusch is best remembered for his murals most of which can be found in churches across England. He was commissioned some 40 times (30 times for CofE) to produce artworks for churches and also painted a number of secular works for friends and corporations. #ElyCathedral also commissioned Feibusch to produce a sculpture – Christus (found near the west entrance). The Revelation of Saint John the Divine is a book which depicts what is to come. It foretells the return of the Christ and the final judgement and destruction of evil, the devil, and mankind as well as the rescuing of the redeemed. It provides, for the artist, inspiration allowing them to imagine and then create visages of a great and terrible time.
The 15 lithographs ( including front cover) created by Feibusch are miniature versions of his large scale murals. His dramatic and vivid depictions are striking in their use of colour to emphasise the horrible visages.
Posted in Lithographs, Printing
Tagged angels, apocalypse, beast, bible, four horsemen, Hans Feibusch, heaven, hell, revelation, Saint John, woman and child
At the end of March, I wrote a chapter on the art magazine Siecle XXe volume 3 which focused on artist Wassily Kandinsky. Volume 4 of the art magazine contained 10 lithographs by various artists.
The art publication was the idea of Italian art historian #GualtieridiSanLazzaro. It was an art magazine about modern art and artists. Articles about modern art ran along side original lithographs by those artists being featured. The periodical ran between 1938 and 1974. Some 60 (?) issues were printed in it’s lifetime. Gualtieri – art historian, author, and collector – lived in Paris between WWI and WWII. He was drawn there by the exploding art scene of the early Modernist movement. Artists like Picasso, Miro, Chagall and Rouault were a few of the early modernists. Gualtieri endeavoured to make the art of these rising stars available to the wider public through the publication of his journals. Gualtieri wanted this art to be seen, experienced, and owned by people outside of the elite galleries of Paris, London, and New York.
My copy of Volume 4 contains seven of the ten original lithographs. I am missing the pieces by Matisse, Miro, and Chirico. The seven that remain are
Abstract by Jean Helion
Composition by Ossis Zadkine
Obligation MonteCarlo by Marcel Duchamp
Variation 13 by Max Bill
Composition by Alberto Magnelli
Composition by Henri Laurens
Constellations by Jean Arp
Today, we visit with a pair of brothers who have been producing works of art displaying this countries beautiful cities, towns, villages and historical sites. #PhilipMartin and his brother #GlynMartin have been painting for over thirty years. They have traveled thousands of miles and produced a fine catalogue of images from which they produce a limited set of prints (runs limited to 850 copies). They have entitled their catalogue #Portraits of Britain and it continues to grow as they further their travels to capture this beautiful land. The watercolour and ink drawings are masterfully done taking care to detail and accuracy.
The piece in my collection is titled ‘Liverpool’ and was drawn and coloured in 1984 by Philip Martin. It shows (from left to right) the ‘Royal Liver Building’ the ‘Cunard Building’ and the ‘Port of Liverpool Building’ with a small portion of harbour/river frontage. This watercolour drawing is very accurate architecturally and speaks so very well of the artists superb technical ability and his eye in capturing an amazing scene in the life of Liverpool, the city.
A small watercolour portrait was added to my collection this past week. On the recto, we see a beautiful young lady wearing a large hat – no signature, no date, no clues as to who this young woman was or who the artist was. But all is not lost, for on the verso is a small label with the framing companies name and address and a few hand written notes as to owner and sitter. From the note, we find that this watercolour is a copy of a painting held by CH Parry. Being a musician and living near Ely Cathedral, when I think of CH Parry – it is #SirCharlesHubertHastingsParry (1848-1918) the composer. You might know as the composer of the song ‘Jerusalem’, the coronation anthem ‘I was glad’ or the hymn tune ‘Repton’.
But of course, there was an earlier CH Parry. #CharlesHenryParry (1779-1860) was a physician and author.
So to the other notes on the back. The note mentions an #AmeliaParry (1800-1888). I, so far, have not found any information on this Amelia Parry (assuming the date are correct). There are a number of Amelia Parry’s but none with these dates.I think, at the moment, I will just appreciate the beauty of this piece and maybe some day I might find out who this young lady is.
Although #AlfredSharpe was born in Tranmere, Cheshire, England he became one of New Zealand’s most important artists. His father, a well to do Liverpool merchant, was an art lover and collector. Alfred studied at the Birkenhead School of Art. A short two year stay in Ireland (after graduating) was followed by emigration to #NewZealand in 1859. Alfred, eventually, found himself living and working in Auckland. He was very much a self-promoter but did exhibit with the Auckland Society of Arts. He was denied the professional recognition he desired due to his critics calling his watercolours ‘painfully elaborate’.
Although Sharpe thought of himself as a professional artist, his works were created in what little time was left after a full time job as an architectural draftsman and part-time teaching post. By the late 1870’s Sharpe had wed, sired two children, and become profoundly deaf.
Sharpe was a devotee of local landscape painting. He stated ‘New Zealand scenery is special and unique,and, therefore it is altogether inexcusable to take liberties with it on the pretence of improvement … strive to reproduce Nature here as she is, ere her originality disappears before the combined effects of advancing civilisation and imported vermin and vegetation.’ The painting, in my collection, is entitled #MilfordSound . It’s size is roughly 6 1/2″ by 10 3/4″ (163mm x 275mm). It shows Alfred’s very definitive brush technique and his wonderful use of layered washes. His monogram appears lower left but is undated. Title appears on a label verso. Although he was a successful artist none of his works were owned publicly till well into the 20th century. He is now appreciated (deservedly so) for being at the vanguard of New Zealand art during it’s colonisation.
We consider an artist who broke with family tradition and followed his own road. #GeorgeOwenWynneApperley was born into a wealthy aristocratic Welsh military family in 1884. Family tradition destined him for military service. He was educated at Eagle House, Sandhurst and Uppingham School but George forwent his military education to study art at the Herkomer Academy (1903).
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1904 and had his first solo show by 1906. Apperley was elected into the Royal Institute of Watercolour Artists in 1913 but ill health saw him move to Madrid, Spain and then Grenada (until 1933). He fled Spain at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and settled in Tangier, Morocco. Even with his absence, Spain awarded him a number of honours.
The watercolour, in my collection, is titled ‘Paissaje Tangerino‘ and shows a landscape near Tangier where Apperley lived from 1933 till his death in 1960. Whether it was a study for an oil painting or done ‘en plain air’ as a painting on it’s own, I do not know. It does show a nice use of colour and a deftness of brush stroke. I especially like the sky with it’s clouds. It is signed and date lower right on the face and again on the verso.
We travel to Scotland, to visit the home of artist #MayMarshallBrown (nee Brown Robertson). She was born in 1887, the daughter of an Edinburgh wine merchant (William Robertson). Her artistic talents were the focus of her education. She studied at the Royal Institute in Edinburgh and the Edinburgh College of Art. She was mainly a land/seascape and figure painter, an etcher as well as teacher. May exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours, the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art and the Scottish Society of Artists. She was elected to the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1936. In 1912, May married artist William Marshall Brown RSA (some 24 years her elder). Many of her watercolours portray fishing villages, boats, harbours and those people that resided and frequented those places.
A street scene of a man selling his wares from the back of his horse drawn cart. I continue to look at this painting and there is some just so ‘real’ about it. She has captured something. The grouping feels right, body postures real, colouring good. All this without too much finesse and fine brush work. The evidence of a talented artist, who knew her stuff.
Today, we visit with an artist best known for his etchings although he was an accomplished water-colourist also (few of his watercolours remain). #AlbanyEHowarth was born in Durham in 1872. His artistic flair was seen early on in life. His early career path was as a draftsman – working for a company in Newcastle-upon-Tyne designing ships, locomotives, automobiles, and aircraft. This ‘too mechanical’ style of working restricted his own artistic talents. His career as a draftsman was short lived – 4 years only. Howarth moved on to illustrating for various newspapers and magazines. This work also allowed him to learn about different printing techniques and their benefits as well as their limitations and drawbacks. This was immensely helpful early in his own artistic career when he self published his works and later in commercial publication of his pieces. As with many engravers of his time, he took advice from master printer Frederick Goulding. His series of etchings of Oxford (1909) and Cambridge (1910) are some of his best known works. Howard has exhibited at the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers until 1923 and showed with a number of galleries as well as the Royal Academy. Howarth’s work was extremely popular and most of his works up to 1912 sold to collectors and were only obtainable if they came up for resale at auction. During his artistic career , Howarth worked with several printers/publishers. They would purchase the finished plate from him and produce a limited set of prints – after which the plate would be destroyed. Howarth died in 1936 at the young age of 64.
The etching shown is titled ‘Five Sisters of York’. It was executed in 1915 and shows the stained glass windows of York Cathedral, the organ facade, and entrance into the choir. It is a very large engraving. The plate mark for this etching measures 33 1/4″ by 18 1/4″ (845mm x 465mm). A monumental artwork indeed and one of the largest engravings in my collection.
The ‘Five Sisters of York’ is a legend told of in Dickens’ novel Nicholas Nickleby. This 13th century window is filled with finely painted clear glass set in geometric designs. It was re-dedicated after WWII to all female victims of violence and conflict.