Da’ Brotherhood

Now The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in 1848 by a group of English painters, poets, and critics.

The three founders of the Pre-Raphaelites (as they became known) William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form a seven-member brotherhood and it was a great artistic rebellion. Their basic idea was to reform art by ‘rejecting what it considered the mechanistic approach first adopted by artists who succeeded the rather good Raphael and Michelangelo’.

These artists were known as ‘Mannerists’ and Mannerism was a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520 and it’s influence was reached through the centuries.

And I have to say it is a style I really have come to like. The beauty of the colours, the flow of the stroke…

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James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Never heard of him?

Me nether!

images (6)However the Dulwich Picture Gallery is to host “An American in London: Whistler and the Thames,” this is the first major exhibition to be devoted to works created by American-born artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, He time spent in London between 1859 and 1903.

The show is to apparently include paintings, etchings and drawings, as well as approximately 70 objects, offering an insight into both the artist’s practice during the period, and Victorian London which should be fascinating.

Co-curator Professor Margaret F. Macdonald explains: “Whistler settled in London in 1859 and his etchings and paintings mark one of his most successful and profound assaults on the art establishment of his day… His sympathetic, straightforward depictions of workers and the dockyard environment of Dickensian London such as The Lime-burner and the rare Ratcliffe Highway are fresh and insightful.” images (7)

Works on display are on loan from institutions including the Musée d’Orsay, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the V&A, the Tate and the British Museum.

If anyone gets a chance to check it out some pics would be good.

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

360_Tate_Constable_Salisbury_1536This rather awesome 1831 masterpiece by Constable ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows’ has been snapped up by the Tate for £23.1m, it has been on loan at The National Gallery for 30 years and was at risk of being sold abroad.

“It’s one of the quintessential images of 19th century British art and it’s worth every penny,” Tate Britain’s Director Nicholas Serota told the BBC. Then it will be going off on tour around the UK….so look out for it!

Explore the painting with our interactive image map (follow the Link) and enjoy a guide to the work by Amy Concannon, Assistant Curator, 1790–1850 at Tate Britain.


Local Victoriana: Light of the World

The Light of the world was painted by William Holman Hunt between 1851-1856.

The painting represents the figure of Jesus as the light of the world preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door, which in turn represents those who do not know who Christ is and his saving grace.

It also illustrates Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any .an hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me”.

“I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good Subject.” William Holman Hunt

The local aspect of this is that the image was painted at night in a makeshift hut at Worcester Park Farm in Surrey no more than 5 miles from where I live.

As a Christian myself I have always found this painting quite inspirational both spiritually and symbolically.

The original hangs in a side room off the large chapel at Keble College.

John Atkinson Grimshaw

Following up from the last post here.

Walter from the very excellent site Victorian Gothic drew my attention to The Telegraph which had a flash gallery of his work, so here is some of it for you enjoyment and perusal.

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William Tingle Brown and John Atkinson Grimshaw

William Tingle Brown…never heard of him…or John Atkinson Grimshaw…nope but this picture that is up for sale concerns both.

This beautiful 14×9 inch moonlit view is of Yew Court which was in fact the home of said artist who was also a watchmaker and jeweller, and a very successful, so much so that  he retired in his early 30s.

Records show that by 1881and at the grand age of 35 he now described himself as a retired jeweller and lived in a house called Oaklands in Sheffield. He lived with his wife Jane and daughter Edith. Also his sister Fanny plus two servants who also lived in.

It seems that sometime between 1881 and 1891 his wife Jane died. By 1901 he was married 53 to his second wife Clara who at 38 who was somewhat younger. So  according to the records William wit wife Clara and daughter Edith had moved to Yew Court in Scalby with three live-in servants

However you will need a few pounds to acquire this is for sale from a West End art dealer priced at more than £150,000.

The picture for sale is offered by London dealers MacConnal-Mason. A spokesman for the dealers said:

“Grimshaw portrays the house and high street by the bright silvery moonlight of a full moon as a mother and child make their way home.

“It is a beautifully observed scene, the mother tilting her head towards the child as they converse holding hands.

“The light from the unseen moon gleams on the windows and bathes the road and garden walls. It is a particularly serene and tranquil scene, characterised by Grimshaw’s extraordinarily detailed technique, unique quality of light and acute observation

Scandal and Effie Gray

Scandal…very much the gossip or tittle tattle of its age. Scandal could destroy a ladies reputation  in the Victorian Era and yet i’m not sure if that was really the case with Euphemia Chalmers Millais or Effie Gray as she was commonly known.

Effie was part of a love triangle between herself, her husband art critic John Ruskin and the pre-raphelite artist John Everett Millais.

Born in Perth, Scotland. Her family knew John Ruskin’s father. He encouraged a love match between them. Ruskin wrote the fantasy novel The King of the Golden River for her in 1841 when she was twelve years old which seems a little weird and creepy to us nowadays but times were different and love matches were made from a very early age.

They were married in 1848 but their relationship apparently got into difficulties as they were two very different people, Effie very outgoing and John quite repressive. Their marriage was not consummated which seems very odd and apparently remained so when Effie met John Everett Millais five years later.

Effie began modelling for Millais and became closer when he accompanied the couple on a trip to Scotland in order to paint Ruskin’s portrait and it was here iBrig o’ Turk in the  Trossaschs they fell in love. Normally this would have been disastrous for a lady leading to certain ruin and poverty and yet her family and friends supported her, because of the lack of consummation the marriage was annulled 1854, it was indeed scandalous and was widely reported in the press.

In the following year Effie married John Millais and they lived happily and went on to have eight children and the scandal has been made into a film called ‘Effie’.

Emma Thompson and Dakota Fanning

Effie is written by Oscar winner Emma Thompson and directed by Richard Laxton who is very much acquainted the Victorian Era via the remake of Poldark in 1996. Eiffie is played by the very talented Dakota Fanning in her first adult role.

It is due for release this year but no definite date has been published