Robert Newton Hurley Artist

In a previous chapter, I wrote about living in the fens under it’s vast expansive sky.  It gives one a feeling of being small and insignificant.  It is why some people do not appreciate living in the fens.

#RobertNewtonHurley (1894-1980) is an artist who’s landscapes describe the vastness of  a land which he came to love.

A Prairie Dawn watercolour by Robert Newton Hurley @ 1958

A Prairie Dawn watercolour by Robert Newton Hurley @ 1958

Robert Newton Hurley was born in Bromley-by-Bow, London, England; immigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1923; he died in Victoria, British Columbia.

He apprenticed as a printer-compositor until his mid 20s.  WWI saw him serving with the Suffolk Regiment from 1917 to 1920 after which he emigrated to Canada (1923).  Robert Hurley lived through the Great Depression and it was during this time that he started to paint.  Being unemployed, Hurley was unable to afford artist paper or painting supplies so he began painting using berry juices and a toothbrush on newsprint.  He had no formal training in the arts but living in London he frequently visited the museums and galleries in the city.  From 1933-35 he took night classes from established artist Ernest Lindner.  He quickly became known in Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada for his treatment of the prairie landscape.

The Hurley watercolour in my collection is typical of his style.  Hurley focused on prairie landscapes in which grain elevators, receding roads, fence lines, and telephone poles are integral.  His use of colour and stylised objects became his trademark.  Hurley has been called Saskatchewan’s “sky painter” for his effective use of watercolour to illuminate the prairie sky.  Hurley’s portrayals of prairie light and space as well as his flat, linear treatment of the landscape are expressed using broad colour washes and a linearity of line.  So typical and so beautiful.

 

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

Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen

This past week, I picked up a stipple engraving of #ChristianKarlJosiasvonBunsen (1791-1860).  You would be quite correct in presuming that I did not know who the engraving was of especially since it did not show his name.  I acquired this stipple engraving because of it’s artistic quality.

Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen - stipple engraving by JH Robinson after G Richmond @ 1859

Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen – stipple engraving by JH Robinson after G Richmond @ 1859

It was published by #JosephHogarth of 5 Haymarket, London on April 17th, 1859.  There is a black and gilt frame often used for displaying engravings which is called the ‘Hogarth frame’ which takes it’s name from Joseph Hogarth the frame-maker and not William Hogarth the artist.

The engraving is taken from a drawing by #GeorgeRichmond (1809-1896), who is known as a portrait painter to the British gentry, nobility, and royalty.

The stipple engraving is by #JohnHenryRobinson (1796-1871).  Art historians believed that there were two persons with almost the same name. A JH Richardson and an H Richardson.  After my reading, I lean toward believing that this is one and the same person.  Robinson was influential in getting engravers admitted into the Royal Academy.  Robinson engraved portraits and illustrated books and engraved the plate for the first Belgian postage stamp.

Christian von Bunsen - stipple engraving by JH Robinson @ 1859

Christian von Bunsen – stipple engraving by JH Robinson @ 1859

Baron von Bunsen - stipple engraving by JH Robinson @ 1859

Baron von Bunsen – stipple engraving by JH Robinson @ 1859

Baron von Bunsen was a theologian and Prussian diplomat.  He founded the German ‘Evangelische Gemeinde’ as well as preparing it’s liturgy.  He represented King Frederick III and IV.  He was the Prussian minister in London where he became a fan of Anglicanism.  He was influential in establishing the Anglo-Prussian Jerusalem bishopric.  He authored several religious and historical books, none of which are of great importance today.

 

The close-ups show the wonderful detail in this work.  A superb engraver with a deftness touch.

 

 

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

The French Nude

Today, our focus is a piece which involves two French artists.  The creator of the original painting, #JeanJacquesHenner (1829-1905) and the creator of the lithograph #JulesArmandHanriot (1853-1930).  Henner began his training when he was 12 years old. He debuted at the Paris Salon in 1863 and regularly exhibited for 40 years.  To begin with, a painter of biblical scenes and portraits, Henner is best known today for his portrayal of the nude female body.  His nudes are endowed with cream coloured skin and russet hair and he frequently set them against a draped blue cloth.  The Jean-Jacques Henner Museum can be visited in Paris and contains over 1500 canvases and drawings.

Weeping Nymph in Blue Cloth - lithograph by J A Hanriot after J J Henner @ 1900

Weeping Nymph in Blue Cloth – lithograph by J A Hanriot after J J Henner @ 1900

The lithograph displayed was created by Hanriot from Henner’s painting.  Hanriot was a fine artist in his own right.  He, also, was a superb lithographer and producer of prints.  He spent most of his artistic career creating for magazines and books but the plate shown here, I believe, was created for his own pleasure and enrichment.  The chiaroscuro or contrast between the milky white skin of the model and the dark of the forest focuses ones’ eyes on the weeping nymph.  While the fine shading produces subtle, imperceptible transitioning between colours and tones (called sfumato) beguiling the eye.  No hard lines delineate between light and dark – producing a vision as if an illusion or dream.  Setting forth a softness and tenderness of body and spirit which draws one in even deeper to look upon her sorrow and sadness and perchance to offer tenderness and consolation.

Off the bottom right corner of the lithograph it reads in pencil ‘apres Henner’ and below that J A Hanriot’s signature.   In the bottom left corner there reads ‘S 6’ which I take as State 6 for this plate.  I do not know if there was a limited run created from the plates.  The only other image I have seen of #WeepingNymphinBlueCloth is of Henner’s original painting.

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

Adelaide Webster

In the last few weeks I have added several portraits to my collection.  We begin with #AdelaideWebster, painter in oil and watercolour.  Adelaide was born in Glasgow in 1877.   Adelaide Webster succeeded early in her career. She regularly exhibited her portraits and landscapes at the Glasgow Institute. She studied not only in Glasgow but went on to study in Paris. While in Paris, she was acquainted with many of the leading French painters of the day, including Degas.

pastel portrait by Adelaide Webster

pastel portrait by Adelaide Webster

After her studies, Adelaide Webster lived and worked in both London and in Paris. In London, she was a member of and exhibited frequently with the society of Women Artists (until 1919).  Her early career was crowned by being awarded the prestigious Prix de Paris in 1910.

At the end of WWI, Adelaide married George Henry Donald. He was a Presbyterian minister from Montreal, Canada.  They moved to live in Montreal in the 1920’s.  Due to her husbands strict religious beliefs, Adelaide was not allowed to exhibit her artwork.  Although unable to exhibit, Adelaide did continue to paint in her downtown studio on Crescent Street.  She became friends with leading Canadian artistic figures like Arthur Lismer and Harold Beament.

After the death of her husband, she began once again to exhibit her art primarily with Montreal’s Dominion Gallery.  She had, once again, a successful career.  She was commissioned regularly to paint the portraits of many prominent individuals.  Among these were Norman Bethune (physician & medical innovator) and Dame Sarah Fischer (opera diva).

The beautiful pastel portrait may be a self-portrait of Adelaide herself.  The technique is superb and within it one can find elements of the Impressionists – an influence from her time in Paris. These can be seen  particularly in her paintings and watercolours which she made after moving to Montreal.  The label on the verso notes that the picture was framed by W. Scott & Sons, 1490 Drummond Street, Montreal, 1936.  She was known as #AdelaideWebsterDonald in Canada.

pastel portrait by Adelaide Webster

pastel portrait by Adelaide Webster

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

Napoleon and Marengo

It always helps to paint or have famous people as the inspiration of your art.  This week I want to look at a couple of pieces which have Napoleon as there subject.

Napoleon at Friedland by Daniel Devreaux

Napoleon at Friedland by Daniel Devreaux

We begin with an image of Napoleon by #DanielDevreaux (1914-2010) at the battle of Friedland.  Napoleon was a great horseman and had a number of steeds which he loved to ride.  Friedland was the site of a major confrontation between the French and the Russians which ended with Napoleon’s forces routing the Russian forces under Count von Bennigsen.  The battle of Friedland was effectively the end the war as the emporer was forced into peace negotiations with Napoleon.

Napoleon on Marengo - watercolour by unknown artist

Napoleon on Marengo – watercolour by unknown artist

As stated, #Napoleon loved his steeds.  He had 52 horses in his personal stud.  His favourite was named Marengo.  Marengo was named after the Battle of Marengo through which he carried his master safely.  #Marengo was an off-white/grey Arabian from Egypt who stood 14.1 HH (hands high) or 57″.  A mount of great courage and reliability, he was wounded 8 times and finally captured at the Battle of Waterloo.  He was brought back to England to a stud farm near Ely.  He was not a successful sire.  Marengo died at the old age of 38.

The lovely watercolour is not signed but is very much like the artworks of #PiotrMichalowski.  With simple lines and surety of delineation, Napoleon and Marengo exude a fire, a joy, charisma, beauty and bravery.

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

Statuum Marocca Norum

#StatuumMaroccaNorum is the title of a map which was created  by #JohannChristianHomann in 1728.  I like to call my version of this map ‘Beware the leviathan’

Statuum Marocca Norum - map by Johann Christian Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum – map by Johann Christian Homann @ 1728

The map is large and graphic.. Little tent cities display the domains of the desert tribes. The map also includes the Canary Islands and an inset of Madeira. In the upper left is a large cartouche with merchants, soldiers, and wild animals.  On the maps which I have seen on line there is a view of Tangier and a sea battle as well in the upper cartouche. You will notice that the view of Tangier and the naval sea battle is missing from my version.  There is a ship to be seen but only a single ship and no battle.

Statuum Marocca Norum by Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum by Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum leviathan by Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum leviathan by Homann @ 1728

The three other items which are to be found on my map and not on any other that I have seen are two leviathans – one with a great spiked dorsal fin extending down it’s spine and the other spouting water and slapping it’s mighty tail.  There is also a ship sailing up the east side of Lanzarote.

Statuum Marocca Norum inset Morocco by Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum inset Morocco by Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum inset Mequinetz by Homann @ 1728

Statuum Marocca Norum inset Mequinetz by Homann @ 1728

Along the bottom, below the map are two panoramic city views of “Morocco” (Marrakech) and “Mequinetz” (Meknes).

I’m afraid that my map as been separated down the central vertical fold.  It has also been coated with some varnish or shellac which makes taking photos hard and moisture has also led to excessive discolouration in places.

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

Cuzco School

We as viewers of art, generally, see and can connect one stage in art history to another.  What we do not often see and recognise is the effect which one people’s art has on another.  One of the most obvious times in which we can observe the effects was back in the 1530’s after the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire.

Our Lady of the Milk - Nuestra Senora de La Leche - Cuzco School 17th/18th century

Our Lady of the Milk – Nuestra Senora de La Leche – Cuzco School 17th/18th century

The #CuzcoSchhol ( #EscuelaCuzquena ) was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition based in Cusco, Peru.  The Spanish wished to convert the Incas to Catholicism.  To aid in this endeavour a group of religious artists were sent to Cusco to form a school to teach drawing and painting techniques.  The results of this were not confined to the city of Cuzco but spread to other cities in the Andes as well as present day Ecuador and Bolivia.

Military Archangel - Cuzco School - 17th/18th century

Military Archangel – Cuzco School – 17th/18th century

The resulting art had exclusively religious subjects. Perspective was generally lacking and the use of reds, yellows, and earthy colours predominates in the works. They are also notable for the lavish use of gold leaf,especially with regards to images of the Virgin Mary. The works were freer than those of their European tutors with the use brighter colours and distorted, dramatic images. They adapted depictions to include their native flora and fauna as a backdrop.  As can be seen ‘warrior angels’ often in Spanish regalia became a popular motif in the #Cusquena paintings.

The two images are of two recently acquired paintings and from them one can experience all the ideas which I have been talking about in the chapter.

Posted in Oil Paintings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joseph Farquharson Artist

You may not recognise the artist’s name but you will recognise the art which #JosephFarquharson has created.  Joseph Farquharson (1847-1935) was a Scottish artist who specialised in country and winter scenes.  Many of these scenic paintings were turned into Christmas cards which were and still are popular.

A Joyless Winter Day after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

A Joyless Winter Day after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

I purchased this very fine oil painting this past week.  Those who recognised the name Joseph Farquharson will recognise this image.  It is entitled #AJoylessWinterDay and was painted in 1883.  The famous or final version of this image hangs in The Tate in London, England.  From my reading so far, I have found there to be 5 known studies for the final setting.

A Joyless Winter Day - Shepherd after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

A Joyless Winter Day – Shepherd after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

Farquharson was known for his winter landscapes – there is usually a human – a shepherd or farm labourer – involved also.  Many of the landscapes come from the countryside around his home Finzean.

A Joyless Winter Day - Sheep after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

A Joyless Winter Day – Sheep after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

Farquharson honed his talents in Paris where he studied under Carolus-Duran.  His ‘etra-ordinary virtuosity’ and ‘lightness of touch was praised by critic and artist alike.  In 1918, Joseph became Laird of Finzean in Aberdeenshire after the death of is father.

A Joyless Winter Day - Sheep after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

A Joyless Winter Day – Sheep after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

 

Farquharson’s realism and tension in his art comes from his painting ‘en plein air’.  Because of the harsh Scottish weather, he devised a painting hut which was pulled by a horse.  It contained a stove and was made mostly of glass to allow light and visibility.  The human and dogs which were painted were real and posed for many hours while Farquharson painted but the sheep were not.  They were ‘imitation’ sheep.  Stuffed sheep which he could move into artistic position for is painting.

A Joyless Winter Day - Footsteps after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

A Joyless Winter Day – Footsteps after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

I have tried to add a number of close-up photos of the painting so that you might appreciate the finesse and quality of this artist.  I really love the depth and 3D effect which he achieves in the painting of the footsteps in the snow.

A Joyless Winter Day - monogram after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

A Joyless Winter Day – monogram after Joseph Farquharson @ 1883

Below the matt can be seen a pair of initials JF ( the ‘f’ was normally stylised backward) in the lower left.  If this painting is by Farquharson it would be the smallest study for ‘A Joyless Winter Day’ that I have read of or seen.  The oval is 226mm tall and 346mm wide (8 7/8 x 13 5/8).   Whether it is or not the artist has sublime talent and technique which deserves to be recognised and appreciated.  I hope you enjoy.

Posted in Oil Paintings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art of Maps 3

Maps can be both beautiful and practical.  Both maps in today’s chapter are fine examples of both qualities.

County of Forfar, Scotland published by Robert Sayer & John Bennett @ 1777

County of Forfar, Scotland published by Robert Sayer & John Bennett @ 1777

We begin with a map by an unaccredited cartographer.  The map of the #CountyofForfar was published by #RobertSayer & John Bennett.  Sayer and Bennett began trading in 1774 although their formal partnership was recognised in 1777.  It ended in 1784 when Bennett suffered from a mental collapse.  Robert Sayer began selling prints in 1748 and grew his business by taking over other printers and publishers.  Sayers bought the businesses of Philip Overton, Herman Moll, John Senex, John Rocque, Thomas Jefferys, and Henry Overton.  This would have made him a force to contend with as a print maker and map seller.  He would have employed a great number of etchers and engravers all working under his direction.

Forfarshire is the official name of the historical county of Angus.  This hand-coloured map is a fine example of early cartographic publishing. I love the description of the body of water on the right hand side as the ‘British Ocean’.

Afbeelding van 's Gravenage - map by R. Boitet @ 1730

Afbeelding van ‘s Gravenage – map by R. Boitet @ 1730

An attractive map of The Hague by Jacob Reimer (1676-1762) published in Delft by #ReinierBoitet around 1730.  Perspective view maps, as this is, display important buildings, churches, monasteries, manors and castles.  They also often contain scenes of local interest and importance as well as coats of arms of important local families.

Two maps illustrated with precision and accuracy and  yet decoratively appealing to the eye.  They really do make you want to look at them and study them.

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

Arts Combined 2

As we continue with our musical theme, we find three pieces from a set of six in the folio.  The three arts combine to please the ear and the eye.  Lyrics by Charles Jefferys, J. T. Haines and Charles H Freeman are the basis for the songs composed by Charles W. Glover.  The words and music are adorned with stipple engravings by #FrancisHoll taken from drawings performed by T W Harland.

Mirth - stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844

Mirth – stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844

Simplicity - stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844

Simplicity – stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844

#LyricalBeauties was the compilation title and I have the first three from the set of six.  The stipple engravings are No. 1 Melancholy, No. 2 Mirth, No.3 Simplicity.  I am missing ‘Coquetry, Rusticity, and Contemplation.  Each piece was meant to convey a specific quality or feeling which is suppose to impart grace or beauty to the gentler sex.  The music is light and graceful and befits each specific sentiment displayed.  The poetry is of good quality but the drawings of T W Harland are possibly the most deserving of admiration along with the engravings made from them by Francis Holl.

Melancholy - stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844

Melancholy – stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844

And so that you might enjoy the true quality of these engravings, I set here three close-ups of the ladies faces.  Wonderful technique and artistry can be seen in the finesse which these etchings display.

Mirth - stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844 close-up

Mirth – stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844 close-up

Simplicity - stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844 close-up

Simplicity – stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844 close-up

Melancholy - stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844 close-up

Melancholy – stipple engraving by Francis Holl @ 1844 close-up

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