Thursday, January 29, 2009

Edward Burne-Jones - Le Chant D'Amour

1868 - 77
Georgiana was an accomplished musician and musical themes often appear in his works. The title here is from an old Breton song. The original work was painted in 1864 on the inside lid of an upright piano (now in the V&A) and the full-sized painting was developed from this.

Edward Burne-Jones - The Last Judgement (stained glass)

stained glass
St Michael and All Angels Church, Easthampstead, Berkshire
East Window
Done for Morris and Company, probably his most complex design.

Edward Burne-Jones - Temperantia

private collection
Temperantia (Temperance) was a companion painting to Fides and Spes (Faith and Hope). It was commissioned by Frederick Startridge Ellis, a bookseller and author. It used Maria as a model (one of the last) and some have read it as an allegory of her quenching the fires of passion.

Edward Burne-Jones - Portrait of Maria Zambaco

This very personal portrait shows Maria with Cupid and his arrow, the message attached to which reads, 'Mary Aetat XXVI August 7th 1870 EBJ pinxit'. She holds a medieval manuscript which contains a minature painting of his Chant d'Amour, emphasizing the ambuiguity of the pleasure and pain of his relationship with the sitter.
Maria Zambaco was the cousin of Constantine Ionides, one of the artists most important patrons. They negan an affair in 1867 which turned out to be stormy and led to his attempted suicide in the Regent's Canal. Later they ran off together but BJ was taken ill at Dover and he returned to Georgiana, though the affair continued for a few more years, Maria having to accept she would always be the Mistress and not the Wife.
Melding the Personal and the Mythological in Burne-Jones's Venus Epithalamia

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photographs : G F Watts (in his studio); Burne Jones

Edward Burne-Jones - Green Summer

private collection
The first version of this work was done in 1864 as a watercolour. It features Georgina (in black, reading) and Louie and Jane Morris (holding the Peacock feather). This version was exhibited in 1865 at the Old Watercolour Society to rather mixed reviews. The oil seems to date to 1868 when it was bought by his patron William Graham.

Edward Burne-Jones - Princess Sabra led to the Dragon

private collection
The artist Myles Birket Foster commissioned seven paintungs from Burne Jones on the theme of St George and the Dragon. These were for his dining room at his house in Surrey which he had designed himself in 1863. BJ's assistanmt Charles Fairfax Murray seems to have helped on these and BJ retouched them before they were exhibited at the Munich International Exhibition in 1897 - winning the Gold Medal.

Burne Jones and his Granddaughter Angela (Thirkell)

c. 1893

The Burne Jones and Morris families

At the Grange, 1876

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Devouring Woman and Her Serpentine Hair in Late-Pre-Raphaelitism (article)

[Lady Lilith - Rossetti]

Fanny Cornforth photo

Fanny Holman Hunt photo

First wife of Holman Hunt (1833 - 1866), daughter of George Waugh. This photo was taken in December 1865 shortly before her marriage. She died in Florence having given birth to Cyril in 1866. Her sister Edith became his second wife.

Rose La Touche

Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour c. 1861
Pencil with wash and bodycolour 1862

Monday, January 26, 2009

John Everett Millais - First and Second Sermon

oil on canvas
Guildhall Art Gallery

Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896)
'My Second Sermon'
Watercolour, based on an oil original.

This subject followed on the phenomenal success of Millais' painting My First Sermon, exhibited in 1863. One critic noted: 'Everybody is rejoiced to recognise, sitting in the same place as last year, the little girl, now dear to many a heart, who then was listening…in rapt attention.' The image was widely reproduced as a print.

John Everett Millais - The Black Brunswicker

oil on canvas
Lady Lever Gallery

John Everett Millais - Trust Me

oil on canvas
Forbes Collection

John Everett Millais - The Eve of St Agnes

oil on canvas
Royal Collection
inspired by Keat's poem of the same name.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

John Everett Millais - The Proscribed Royalist, 1651

oil on canvas
private collection
Commissioned by Lewis Pocock (Hon. Sec. of the Art Union in London) in May 1852. The scene was painted from an ancient tree on West Wickham Common which became known as the 'Millais Oak'. Anne Ryan was the female model.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

John Everett Millais - Christ in the House of his Parents

oil on canvas

John Everett Millais - The Woodman's Daughter

oil on canvas
Based on a poem of the same title by Coventry Patmore which appeared in his first volume of poems published in 1844. It refers to a relationship between Maud, the daughter of a woodman called Gerald and the son of the local Squire that comes to nothing because of their difference in rank. Maud bears a child which she drowns in a pond and goes mad. The painting was done both outdoors and in his studio. The model's names are unknown. The girls gface looks a bit hazy, this is because it was repainred by Millais in 1866 after some criticism.

John Everett Millais and the Wyatt family

[The Wyatt children]
[James Wyatt and his Granddaughter] 1849 oil on panel
[Mrs James Wyatt and her daughter Sarah] c. 1850 Tate Gallery
James Wyatt (1774 - 1853) met Millais about 1846 when he painted a watercolour of his granddaughter Mary. Wyatt was a collector and dealer (as well as being a print publisher and Mayor of Oxford 1842-3). He commissioned several family portraits from Millais.

John Everett Millais - ?

This is really annoying. I have this down at Millais and I love it, but didn't record the name of the painting. Anyone know ??

Friday, January 23, 2009

John William Inchbold

[The Lake of Lucerne, Mount Pilatus in the distance]
1857 (probably first exhibited in 1860)
oil on panel
Victoria and Albert Museum
Inchbold made three visits to Switzerland between 1856-8. His decision to paint the Alpine scenery was influenced by Ruskins Modern Painters and Ruskin helped pay for the journeys by commissioning drawings and offering hospitality. Ruskin wasn't particularly pleased with Inchbold's efforts and the pale colours go against the PRB's use of vivid colouring but seem more attractive today.

Edward William Cooke

[Sunset on the Laguna of Venice, San Giorgio in Alga and the Euganean Hills in the distance]
1857 (exhibited at the RA 1858)
oil on canvas
1811 - 1880.
Cooke was a successful marine painter. Ruskin met him in Venice and was impressed by his accuracy and his 'existence of clouds as a matter of serious interest'.

James Clarke Hook

[The Brook] 1859

This painting is both realistic and symbolic. It depicys an actual scene near Chiddingfold in Surrey with the detail closely observed in a way that greatly pleased Ruskin. But the figures, reading from right to left represent the different ages of 'man' and the RA catalogue included these lines from Tennyson's 'The Brook'

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

Hook was mainly known for his seascapes.

[Luff, Boy!] 1858

Painted after his visits to Clovelly in North Devon.
Hook painted a Pre Raphaelite naturalism in the 1850's.

Henry Le Jeune - A Young Lady Sketching in a Landscape

Oil on canvas
painted late 1850's
private collection
Henry Le Jeune [1819 - 1914] was heavily influenced by Ruskin's book The Elements of Drawing (as were many others before and since) which traced Ruskin's progress as an artist and draughtsman. Le Jeune was himself a drawing master who had worked in this role at the Royal Academy since 1845 (he became its curator in 1848), and was elected an Associate in 1862.

Though his first love seems to have been historical subjects (including biblical themes) this picture seems to be based on Ruskin's dictms on drawing style, especially to do with trees as a useful subject.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ruskin Drawing School, Oxford

c. 1904

Pierre Edouard Frere

[The Evening Prayer] 1857
oil on panel
French genre painter admired by Ruskin.

William Lindsay Windus

[Burd Helen]
oil on canvas
illustrates a Scottish ballad in which a cruel lover is won over by the devotion of Burd Helen. Rossetti and Ruskin admired this picture and was considered Pre Raphaelite in style and intent. Windus was a Liverpool artist.

Edward Burne-Jones photograph aged 41

photographed at Naworth Castle

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

William Holman Hunt - The Shy Sitter

bought by Ruskin in 1859 as 'Country Girl'
now in the Harris Museum, Preston

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: - Before the Battle

(retouched 1861-2)
now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Commissioned for £50 by Charles Eliot Norton. Ruskin disliked it and Rossetti had to retouch it to his satisfaction but Rossetti never considered it one of his best.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

not exhibited until 1883
commissioned by Ruskin now in the Tate Gallery
Ruskin commissioned Rossetti to make some illustrations from Dante in April 1855. This was completed by October but considered it rather rushed. Elizabeth Siddal modelled for the girl with the purple robe - Leah.

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal - Clark Saunders

Although perhaps best known as a model for Deverell, Holman Hunt, Millais and Rossetti she proved to be a more than capable painter herself. This was painted in 1857 in Watercolour, bodycolour and coloured chalks. Ruskin bought a lot of her works and was very enthusiastic about her abilties. He arranged to give her £150 / annum for any work she produced (although this arrangement ended sometime in 1857). Clerk Saunders is a scene from Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

John Ruskin - watercolours

[Stone Pines at Sestri] 1845
Pencil, brown ink, sepia and bodycolour on two joined sheets
[Mountain Landscape, Macugnaga] 1845
Pencil and brown ink with brown and grey ink wash
[Kingfisher] c. 1870-1
Pencil, ink, watercolour and bodycolour