A couple of years ago, I picked up a type of artwork that I do not come across very often and which I know almost nothing about. I can not weave, although, in my university years, I did dabble in crewel work to relax. The artist #ZofiaMatuszczyk-Cygańska (1915-2011) is a Polish artist more known now for her painting than her weaving. Originally studying mathematics, she decided that art was her desired vocation. She studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts under Edward Kokoszka. After the war, she studied with Felicjan Kowarski.
Also, after the war, she worked for the LAD cooperative designing fabrics, some of which adorn the Palace of Culture and Science, the Grand Hotel, and the National Philharmonic. From the 1950s, she started creating abstract paintings composed of small square swatches of colour. A mosaic, in fact, almost pointillist in effect. Her paintings resemble the tapestry style where she began her career.
This piece hangs above the headboard in my master bedroom. It has warmth, depth, motion, and a use of colours which exudes life and the passing of time.
I am not always a fan of modern art. I find some pieces as not thought through or show little effort has been put into them. Both the artists, today, show that less can be more when it comes to art.
We will start with #PeterHedegaard (1929-2008) who was a London based artist. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark but moved to London in 1935 with his parents. He studied at Charterhouse and Hertford College, Oxford. He studied design at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He worked only for a short time before becoming a professional artist. He was the painter – his wife, Isolde, taught herself screen printing so that they could publish/print copies of Peters’ work. They produced 2 or 3 screenprint editions per year.
In my collection is “Circle with wave, green, blue, and mauve”. It comes from early in Hedegaards’ career, 1965, and is #7 from a print run of 10. A simple combination of line, colour, and shape create a very fine work. A fine example of the geometrical work which Hedegaard was known for.
Our second artist is #FredIngrams. After his early studies, Fred became a painter. He lived in Soho above the Coach and Horses Pub. Over the years he also worked as a graphic artist for a number of publications which include The Times, The Field, Tattler, Vogue and House and Garden. In 1998, he moved to Norfolk where he paints both nudes and landscapes from life. The engraving from my collection was created in 1989. It is simply called ‘Nude’ and is #15 of 50.
I thought today, I would write about two pieces which I recently added to my collection. They come from very different times and were made half a world apart.
We begin with the most recent artwork. A piece done in pastel by artist #BerylTristNewman (1906-1991). Beryl Newman was born in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. She is best known as a portrait artist but also produced a wide variety of local and foreign landscapes, religious studies and images of children and animals. She married Reverend Canon Rupert Newman and lived in Lustleigh, Devon. She studied art in Bushey and then London under Hubert van Herkomer and Roland Wheelwright. She traveled extensively and produced many pieces during her travels. She exhibited regularly and was a great supporter of Exeter Cathedral Choir.
We travel back now to Japan, 1838, to artist #UtagawaHiroshige, a Japanese woodblock artist. I have mentioned works by him in previous chapters but I acquired another fine work by him. It is apiece called #WeepingCherryandBluebird. It bears the Hiroshige signature and seal (almost unreadable) as well as a poem which reads “I hear a song of a nightingale when I enter the mountain lane“. A very beautiful piece to have added to my collection.
We hop across the pond to visit with one of Americas finest etchers. #ArthurWilliamHeintzelmann (1891-1965) was born in Newark, New Jersey. He studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1921 Heintzelmann moved to Paris. There he met #EugeneDelatre who became his printer/publisher and also instructed him in the intricacies of fine arts printmaking. He moved to Switzerland in 1931 and later returned to the USA in 1934. Heintzelmann became the Keeper of Prints at the Boston Public Library in 1941 and held the position until his retirement in 1960.
I acquired ‘Old man in Italian cap’ last week. It displays Heintzelmanns’ superb technique. A very nice impression. It is no wonder that he is considered one of the greatest etchers of the 20th century.
Today, we look at two lithographs. The first was published by C. Hullmandel. The second was published by #Graf&Soret. Both are anatomical studies of the musculature of the human body. I believe they are plates from #TheMusclesoftheHumanBody which was published in 1836. Both of these were put to stone by #WilliamFairland and are also hand coloured.
As one can see, these lithographs are wonderfully executed, and contain minute detailing. Although not necessarily pieces of art which one might hang on one’s wall they are still excellent examples of the work being put forth to educate the doctors of that time.
Today, we travel to the city of Birmingham to visit the son of a fish monger. #FrederickMercer (1850-1939) came from humble beginnings. He began his work life at the age of 10 as an errand boy and by the age of 20 he was employed as a photographer. At some point he started to draw and paint and by the 1881 census he was described as an artist specialising in watercolour landscapes. He painted many scenes from Wales and the Midlands, mostly landscapes, rivers scenes, mills and cottages, an occasional figure painting, genre subjects and coastal scenes. He exhibited regularly from 1871 to 1911, some 116 works in total. In 1883, he moved from Birmingham to “Radmoor Wood”, Abbots Bromley, Rugeley in Staffordshire.
We see a superb example of Mercer’s work above. I acquired it earlier this week. Wonderful vibrant colours with an idyllic scene give this watercolour a peaceful and endearing charm. Somewhat reminiscent of an artist by the name of Myles Birket Foster – a contemporary of Mercer’s.
We will start today with a piece which has been in my collection for a number of years. #KarlEwaldOlszewski (1884-1965) was a German artist who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and later in Paris. He began as a portrait artist favouring his mother and his niece as his subjects. After his move to Mecklenburg with its rolling hills, lakes and Baltic coast a change in his subject matter was seen to occur.
Karl became famous as a bird painter. He painted storks, eagles, moor snipe, swans, geese, seagulls, herons, ducks and crows in their natural habitat. He spent several months each year around Mecklenburg painting and sketching.
The above watercolour is typical of his style. There is a unity between air, sea, earth and feathered fowl. An expertly rendered piece.
We now move to France to visit with Polish artist, #AgaWerner (1969- . She works in pen, oils, and engraving. Her specialty is freehand architectural drawing which she also teaches through her studio. Her drawing skills are used by architects and designers to display their concepts. She is also a skilled life drawing artist displaying the human body. Below is a fine example of her freehand drawing style showing part of the facade of #LaFregateRestaurant in Paris.
Our artist today comes from Scotland who was a local favourite in the area around the town of St. Monans. #RobertKilpatrick (act. 1935 – 1950) worked mostly in watercolour with a few excursions into oils. He, mostly, painted scenes of harbours and coastal scenes.
The piece,I picked up is a very fine watercolour of #DeKoopMolen in #Overijsel, Holland. The Mill was built in 1839 and was used to grind corn. One of the features, I like is the second mill in the distance. A very different style of mill. The near mill has a rotating top section allowing the sails to catch the wind while the far mill itself is set on a swivel at its base allowing the whole mill to revolve.
To end, I thought I’d show an old drawing I recently acquired. It displays an image with a monogram amid crossed anchors with a banner atop reading ‘Mens cujusque is est Quisque’. It translates into ‘the mind is the man’. This was the ate which #SamuelPepys put at the end od all the books in his library. A different bookplate was placed at the front of each book.
Now-a-days we use satnavs to plan our routes for traveling and take pictures for memory. Previously, we used atlases and street directories and again took pictures and possibly a diary. I came across a hand drawn map a while back which was drawn by someone who was touring a part of northwestern France.
The map displays the area from St. Malo to Vannes in the region of Brittany. It is hand drawn with major cities and towns, thoroughfares, lakes and rivers marked. As well, there are numerous notations in pen stating what highlights were seen throughputthe area. This is impressive enough but when we turn over the sheet we see close up of the bay area around Vannes.
One certainly cannot claim this side or the previous to be amazing cartography. There seems to be some scaling problems and inaccuracy in its’ depiction. But you do get the overall effect.
The maps are not signed so the artist is a mystery but we do get a clue as to the age of this work from the verso image. On the right hand side, we read a notation regarding the Roche-Bernard suspension bridge and that it was damaged in a storm the previous year. The bridge was erected in 1839 and destroyed in 1852. This would mean that this map was drawn in 1853 the year after the damage.
I wonder how many of us would go to such lengths to remember a trip. But then again, maybe we would have had we lived back then.
Once in a while one comes across artists with the same name. Earlier, I have blogged about JMW Turner as well as J Turner (Turner of Oxford) so today I want to look at the artists known as #JohnWard.
We will start with the earliest John Ward (1798-1849). Ward was a respected artist and considered one of the leading marine artists and ship painters of the early 19th century from Eastern England. His oils, watercolours and engravings of his paintings were regularly exhibited but appreciation for his work and talent came some years after his death. The watercolour shown below is of Bristol Harbour with St Mary’s Church, Redcliffe in the background. It is signed with his initials and dated 1844. There is an oil painting attributed to Ward from the same vantage although the shipping in the foreground is somewhat different. Possibly my watercolour might go to firming up the attribution.
We now move to the 20th century #JohnStantonWard (1919-2007). This Ward was a portrait painter, illustrator, and landscape painter. He was an illustrator for travel guides, Vogue magazine, advertisements for major companies, and numerous books by various authors. His portrait work covers royalty, businessmen, celebrities and government officials. My attribution of the piece below is a bit tenuous but I think plausible. The work although not signed has the #JTBurns&Co label a gallery which Ward was quite familiar with (William Ward , his son, worked as a framer for Burns & Co.) also the style is very like his illustrative works.