Jumat, 27 Januari 2012

George Cammidge - Ghyll Beck, near Barden Tower, Yorkshire 1878

George Cammidge - Hollym Village, Holderness, East Riding of Yorkshire before 1884

The Story of Alma-Tadema and the Epps Family


Buckinghamshire, Marlow High Street

Artist’s rare works shown for first time


Henry Herbert La Thangue - Calling to the Valley

Price Realized

signed 'H. H. LaThangue' (lower left) and signed and inscribed 'Calling to the Valley H. H. La Thangue' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm.)

In his youth Henry Herbert La Thangue had visited the Rhône valley to paint the peasants of the Dauphiné and the memory of this experience remained vivid as the restless painter became increasingly disenchanted with the changes affecting rural England at the turn of the twentieth- century. He bemoaned the damage that the modern world was inflicting upon such communities and like D.H. Lawrence, he had rejected the England of industrial grime and rampant commercialism. In the winter of 1901 he set off for the South of France and each year thereafter, Provence, Liguria and Southern Spain became destinations of choice. He avoided the fashionable coastal watering holes of the Riviera favoured by English expatriates, preferring instead the mountain paths and hill villages beyond the reach of Baedeker, such as St Jeannet and La Roquette. These 'castelli' frequently feature in his work but are never identified; they were regarded by travellers as 'more picturesque at a distance'. (Augustus J.C. Hare, The Rivieras, 1897, George Allen, p. 69.) Where other artists might broadcast their discoveries, this painter wished to guard his secrets and one such is the location of Calling to the Valley. Here, a young woman on a high mountain plateau has tethered her donkey and is calling down to unseen peasants in the valley. In the distance are the glistening snow-covered peaks of the Alpes Maritimes. The clean, pure air in such a place may well throw back an echo of her call.

Suggesting the sounds one might hear at such a place was a ploy frequently adopted by painters of La Thangue's generation. Fragments of conversation or characteristic calls became picture titles. Themes such as 'the song of the lark' accentuated the crystalline stillness of the countryside at dawn or dusk. In the mountains near his winter studio at Bormes-les-Mimosas, such piercing cries were not unusual, especially during the olive harvests when donkeys carrying sackcloth panniers would be led up into the hills to bring back the fruit to village presses, their well-worn tracks etched into the hillsides. The pack animal was a familiar sight on these roads and no one painted it with more sympathy. In Ligurian Olives and The Threshing Floor for instance, La Thangue's familiar peasant woman wearing a red headscarf loads her donkey in preparation for the trek while in The First of Spring, the painter comes upon a harvesters' campfire high in the hills. It was a scene relished by Lawrence in the last Winter before the outbreak of the Great War.

'....you have no idea how beautiful olives are, so grey, so delicately sad now the hills are full of voices, the peasant women and children all day long and day after day, in the faint shadow of olives, picking the fallen fruit off the ground, pannier after pannier full".
A. Huxley introd., DH Lawrence, Selected Letters, London, 1950 (Penguin Books, 1954 reprint), p. 65 (letter to W.E. Hopkin, 18 December 1913).

Calling to the Valley thus portrays a typical moment. The low rampart and cross suggests that it was painted on the edge of a village, convent or monastic settlement, affording splendid views of distant peaks and deep ravines. These are appropriately framed by an everyday event, a wave of the hand, a call, a greeting.


Kamis, 26 Januari 2012

Edward Brian Seago - Storm over the farm

Price Realized

signed 'Edward Seago' (lower left)
oil on board
11½ x 16 1/8 in. (28.5 x 41 cm.)

Robert Anning Bell - Three girls preparing to bathe

Price Realized

signed and dated 'RA.BELL.01' (lower left)
pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper
14 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (36 x 37.8 cm.)

Unlike many of his contemporaries Bell painted as much in watercolour as in oil. Exhibiting his first painting at the Royal Academy in 1885, in 1914 he was elected an Associate member, and from then onwards he showed annually until his death, being elected a full Royal Academician in 1922. In 1901 he was invited to become an Associate of the Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours (the Old Watercolour Society) and he was elected a full member three years later, by which time he had exhibited twenty-nine works. During that period watercolours became Bell's principal form of expression, and he wrote enthusiastically about the merits of the watercolour medium, which he prized above all others, in the second annual volume of the Old Water-Colour Society's Club.

The figures in the present watercolour appear to relate to those in The Pool, a watercolour dated 1906 and exhibited at The Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colour, Winter exhibition, 1906, no. 41.

LGOC 'knifeboard' type horse bus operating between Highbury and Hornsey, 1860-1870


John Atkinson Grimshaw - In the artist's house

signed and dated 'Atkinson Grimshaw/1878 May' (lower right), and signed and inscribed 'A reverie Atkinson Grimshaw' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
32¾ x 48¼ in. (83.3 x 127.7 cm.)

Although Grimshaw is best known for his moonlit 'nocturnes', of British ports and the lanes of suburban Leeds, he produced in the 1870s a remarkable group of works celebrating the interiors he created at Knostrop Hall, a house he leased on the Temple Newsam estate.

These demonstrate the prevailing taste for Japanese objects. Following the dawn of the Meiji period, during which Japan, after centuries of self-imposed isolation, sought to strengthen its links with the West, Japanese textiles, fans and ceramics became a pre-requisite for fashionable, 'aesthetic' interiors. The eclecticism of this taste is shown in the richly stamped wall paper, which showed the Jacobean furniture to best advantage. The exoticism is continued in the deliberately archaic costume of the sitter who wears her hair, her gown and slippers in a pastiche of the fashions of Regency England. Everything in the interior has been carefully collected, and composed to demonstrate a refined sensibility.

In this small series of pictures of his house and garden, Grimshaw demonstrates his versatility as an artist. Several carry echoes of Alma-Tadema, and Tissot, and they brought the artist to the attention of leading London galleries, such as Agnew's, who started to sell his work from the 1880s onwards. Perhaps Grimshaw's most sophisticated and celebrated interior, entitled 'Dulce Domum', is now in the collection of Lord Lloyd Webber and was exhibited at his exhibition at the Royal Academy, Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters, 2003, no. 117.

Rabu, 25 Januari 2012

John Atkinson Grimshaw - The Sere and Yellow Leaf

Price Realized

signed 'Atkinson Grimshaw' (lower left) and further signed and inscribed 'In the Sere and Yellow/Atkinson Grimshaw' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7 cm.)

John Atkinson Grimshaw - The Harvest Moon

Price Realized

signed, inscribed and dated 'Atkinson Grimshaw 53 72' (lower right) and further signed and inscribed 'Painted by Atkinson Grimshaw Knostrop Old Hall Leeds' (on a label on the frame), and inscribed on the stretcher 'Under the Harvest Moon Atkinson Grimshaw Knostrop Hall Leeds. 53 72+'
oil on canvas
20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.)

This is a rare composition, where the artist has responded to the landscape before him with great sensitivity. In his early career, Grimshaw painted views, notably in the Lake District, with Pre-Raphaelite intensity and attention to detail. Later, in the 1860s, he enjoyed the friendship of John Linnell. Linnell was the son-in-law of Samuel Palmer, and some of Palmers, and Linnells ideas undoubtedly influenced the younger artist, especially after works by Linnell were shown at the Leeds Infirmary in 1868.

Under the Harvest Moon seems imbued with the spirit of English Romanticism. It is an early essay in the 'nocturnes that made Grimshaw famous. The effect of moonlight, on the hanging wood in the distance, the top of the cart laden with hay, and the gently meandering farm track, is expressed with great poetry. As opposed to later suburban lane scenes, which were often repeated, the artist has carefully considered each element of the composition and there is nothing formulaic in his rendition.

Dated 1872, the picture stands firmly within the decade where Grimshaw saw his career take wing. He moved to Knostrop Old Hall, outside Leeds, and started to be promoted by Thomas Agnew & Sons, who also had branches in the commercial centres of Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow, where his work found a ready market.

Austin Osman Spare

[ Operating in a Regimental Aid Post (1918)]

Tabernacle Frames: From Sacred to Secular


Bedford Double Decker Bus 1950's.

Playing Martha Washington: Behind the Scenes

John Atkinson Grimshaw - Nightfall in Scarborough Harbour, 1884


Selasa, 24 Januari 2012

John Atkinson Grimshaw - Dulce Domum (Sweet Home) 1885

John Atkinson Grimshaw and Theodosia Grimshaw


The Pocket Guide to Victorian Artists and Their Models by Russell James


Derbyshire, Darley Dale, Whitworth Gardens in the 1890's

George Washington delivers 1st State of the Union Address

1783 George Washington by William Dunlap

On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address to the assembled Congress in New York City.

1772 George Washington by Charles Willson Peale detail

Washington began by congratulating the gathered representatives on the present favourable prospects of our public affairs, most notable of which was North Carolina's recent decision to join the federal republic. North Carolina had rejected the Constitution in July 1788, because it lacked a bill of rights. Under the terms of the Constitution, the new government acceded to power after only 11 of the 13 states accepted the document. By the time North Carolina ratified in November 1789, the first Congress had met, written the Bill of Rights and dispatched them for review by the states. When Washington spoke in January, it seemed likely the people of the United States would stand behind Washington's government and enjoy the concord, peace, and plenty he saw as symbols of the nation's good fortune.

Washington's address gave a brief, but excellent, outline of his administration's policies as designed by Alexander Hamilton. The former commander in chief of the Continental Army argued in favor of securing the common defence [sic], as he believed preparedness for war to be one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. Washington's guarded language allowed him to hint at his support for the controversial idea of creating a standing army without making an overt request.

Charles Wilson Peale George Washinton At Princeton 1779

Washington's First State of the Union Address

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires the President of the United States to ...

"...from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;..."

While the Constitution specifies no time, date, place, or frequency for the Address, President's have typically delivered the State of the Union in late January, soon after Congress has re-convened. This timing allows the President to spell out the Administration's agenda for the coming year and to "... recommend to their consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;..." before Congress has taken up any major legislation.

Adolph Ulrich Wertmuller (Swedish-born later American artist, 1751–1811) George Washington 1796

On January 8, 1790, President George Washington complied with Article II, Section 3. (Spellings appear as in the original draft.)

State of the Union
George Washington
January 8, 1790
Federal Hall, New York City

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

I embrace with great satisfaction the opportunity which now presents itself of congratulating you on the present favorable prospects of our public affairs. The recent accession of the important state of north Carolina to the Constitution of the United States (of which official information has been received), the rising credit and respectability of our country, the general and increasing good will toward the government of the Union, and the concord, peace, and plenty with which we are blessed are circumstances auspicious in an eminent degree to our national prosperity.

In resuming your consultations for the general good you can not but derive encouragement from the reflection that the measures of the last session have been as satisfactory to your constituents as the novelty and difficulty of the work allowed you to hope. Still further to realize their expectations and to secure the blessings which a gracious Providence has placed within our reach will in the course of the present important session call for the cool and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness, and wisdom.

Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is on e of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.

The proper establishment of the troops which may be deemed indispensable will be entitled to mature consideration. In the arrangements which may be made respecting it it will be of importance to conciliate the comfortable support of the officers and soldiers with a due regard to economy.

There was reason to hope that the pacific measures adopted with regard to certain hostile tribes of Indians would have relieved the inhabitants of our southern and western frontiers from their depredations, but you will perceive from the information contained in the papers which I shall direct to be laid before you (comprehending a communication from the Commonwealth of Virginia) that we ought to be prepared to afford protection to those parts of the Union, and, if necessary, to punish aggressors.

The interests of the United States require that our intercourse with other nations should be facilitated by such provisions as will enable me to fulfill my duty in that respect in the manner which circumstances may render most conducive to the public good, and to this end that the compensation to be made to the persons who may be employed should, according to the nature of their appointments, be defined by law, and a competent fund designated for defraying the expenses incident to the conduct of foreign affairs.

Various considerations also render it expedient that the terms on which foreigners may be admitted to the rights of citizens should be speedily ascertained by a uniform rule of naturalization.

Uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States is an object of great importance, and will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to.

The advancement of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures by all proper means will not, I trust, need recommendation; but I can not forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad as to the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at home, and of facilitating the intercourse between the distant parts of our country by a due attention to the post-office and post-roads.

Nor am I less persuaded that you will agree with me in opinion that there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. In one in which the measures of government receive their impressions so immediately from the sense of the community as in ours it is proportionably essential.

To the security of a free constitution it contributes in various ways - by convincing those who are intrusted with the public administration that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people, and by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority; between burthens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society; to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness - cherishing the first, avoiding the last - and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments, with an inviolable respect to the laws.

Whether this desirable object will be best promoted by affording aids to seminaries of learning already established, by the institution of a national university, or by any other expedients will be well worthy of a place in the deliberations of the legislature.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

I saw with peculiar pleasure at the close of the last session the resolution entered into by you expressive of your opinion that an adequate provision for the support of the public credit is a matter of high importance to the national honor and prosperity. In this sentiment I entirely concur; and to a perfect confidence in your best endeavors to devise such a provision as will be truly with the end I add an equal reliance on the cheerful cooperation of the other branch of the legislature.

It would be superfluous to specify inducements to a measure in which the character and interests of the United States are so obviously so deeply concerned, and which has received so explicit a sanction from your declaration.

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

I have directed the proper officers to lay before you, respectively, such papers and estimates as regard the affairs particularly recommended to your consideration, and necessary to convey to you that information of the state of the Union which it is my duty to afford.

The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed, and I shall derive great satisfaction from a cooperation with you in the pleasing though arduous task of insuring to our fellow citizens the blessings which they have a right to expect from a free, efficient, and equal government.

1793 Charles Peale Polk (American artist, 1765-1822) George Washington

A mid-Victorian room

William Talbot - Self Portrait

Elizabeth Taylor's Augustus John collection to be auctioned


The The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions: Change and Continuity in the Victorian Art World Exhibitions: Change and Continuity in the Victorian Art World


Art for the Nation: The Eastlakes and the Victorian Art World (National Gallery Company) (National Gallery London)