Sunday, May 31, 2009

(Sir) John Lavery - The Tennis Party

oil on canvas
Aberdeen Art Gallery

John Charles Dollman - The Unknown

[The Unknown] 1912
exhibited at the RA in the same year
including works currently for sale

42 3/4 x 71.5"

exhibited at the RA in 1912

Thomas Ralph Spence - Song of Phemius

[The Song of Phemius and the Sorrow of Penelope] 1897
one of a series of paintings by the artist based on Homer's Odyssey.
(with price realised at auction)

Realized £9,400 (June 2000)

The Song of Phemius and the Sorrow of Penelope
signed with initials and dated 'T.R.S.1897' (lower right)
oil on canvas
35 x 72½ in. (88.8 x 184.2 cm.)

The present work is one of a series inspired by Homer's Odyssey. In 1897, the year the picture was executed, Spence exhibited The Temptation of Odysseus by Circe at the Royal Academy (no. 604).

The scene depicted here represents an incident before Odysseus's return when Penelope his wife believed him dead and was surrounded by suitors. She repeatedly put them off by saying she had first to finish weaving a winding sheet for her father-in-law Laertes, but at night she secretly undid her day's work. Here, Phemius is prevailed upon to entertain the suitors and is singing of Odysseus's return from Troy, and of the disasters that Pallas Athene made his army suffer. Standing behind Phemius, Penelope pleads with the minstrel to sing something more cheerful:

O Phemius... I bid thee cease,
For the heart that is dear in my breast doth it ever waste and wear, Since I, and I above all, a ceaseless sorrow bear
For so dear a head sore longing, remembering still the man
Whose fame was abroad in Hellas, and through mid Argos ran.

(The Odyssey, Book I, translated by William Morris).

Thomas Ralph Spence was born in Yorkshire to a family of builders and stone masons. After an apprenticeship with a firm of architects in Newcastle he moved to London, where he became famous as a painter and architect. He exhibited at the Royal Academy throughout the 1890s and in 1910 the Fine Art Society held an exhibition of his oil sketches of Italy, Greece and Spain. His architectural work is exemplified by Jesmond Church in Newcastle, and his interior decoration can be seen at All Saint's Church in Ennismore Gardens, and in the Hall of St. Paul's School, Hammersmith.

William Clarke Wonter - Safie

[Safie, one of the three Ladies of Bagdad] 1900
exhibited in The New Gallery, London the same year
50 x 37.5"

Frederic Lord Leighton - Music

A study for a picture now in the British Museum
c. 1865

103 x 60.5"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

John Ferneley - The Council of Horses

oil on canvas
Calke Abbey
(with biography)

Frederic Lord Leighton - The Light of the Hareem

there is a sketch of this in the V&A

48 x 32"
Art Journal, 1880, p. 187

"A stately girl winding round her head the figured cloth of her turban, while a little girl in blue dress holds for her the looking-glass".

Athenaeum, 1880 Vol I, p. 572

"The ingenuous looks of the child, and the refined colour of her draperies are of first-rate quality, and distinguished by delicate finish. The principal figure is at once graceful and stately, and, according to the mood adopted by the painter, is admirable throughout, because it perfectly fulfils its intended purpose. The accessories, rich in black and gold, sumptuous colouring, and rich illumination are in perfect keeping with the motive of the picture."

This is the oil study for the picture exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1880, No. 256The group also appears in the fresco 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to Peace', executed 1883-6, for which the oil cartoon was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1873The model for the young girl was Isabell Helena Pullar, Dorothy Dene's youngest sister.

There is another sketch in the Victoria and Albert Museum

Albert Lynch - L'Ete

exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1920
Peruvian, 1851 - ?
Born in Peru of Irish emigrants, he trained in Paris and became a Knight of the Legion of Honour.

63 x 44"

Henry Thomas Schafer - Divinely Fair

[Divinely Fair]
when exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, in the same year it was titled ' White Chrysanthemums'
exhibited at the RA in 1894

63 x 35.5"

Leonard Campbell Taylor

[Japanese Prints, or The Portfolio]
exhibited 1907
exhibited 1914
[Patience] 1906
exhibited at the RA in the same year
numbered op. 36

Friday, May 29, 2009

Carl Haag - Morning in the Highlands

Royal Collection
1820 – 1915.
German-born painter who became a naturalized British citizen, and court painter to the duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
This is a delightful informal portrait of the Royal Family on holiday at Balmoral (acquired in 1848). It shows an 'expedition' up Lochnagar (4000 ft) that lies to the south of Balmoral and which Queen Victoria called "the jewel of all the mountains here."The mountain is still in the distance here. Prince Alfred precedes the Queen and Princess Alice is shown just behind her Father, the Prince Consort.

Marcus Stone - A Street Door in Venice


43 x 29"

James Campbell - Clockmaker

[Our Village Clockmaker solving a problem]
exhibited at the RA 1859
often quoted as one of his best pictures, painted in a 'Dutch' style of minute detail filled with character

14 x 12"

John Ritchie - A Vestry Meeting

[A Vestry Meering, Something Wrong with the Accounts]
exhibited at the RA in 1867
painted at the time of the Commons enquiry into metropolitan local government which recommended the abolition of the vestry and district boards. I have been to meetings just like this.

17 3/4 x 23.5"
oil on panel

Herbert William Weekes - Street Acrobats

shows the junction of Regent Street and Conduit Street with the Egyptian Hall in the background
50 x 73"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

J M W Turner - Yacht approaching the Coast

c. 1835 - 40.
oil on canvas
Tate Gallery

James Hayllar - May Day

40 x 60"

Edith Hayllar - Feeding the Swans


36 x 28"

George Bernard O'Neill - Gran's Treasures

This painting (or something similar) was exhibited at the RA in 1866
It is known he made at least one copy

29 1/4 x 39.5"

Thomas Webster - A Birthday Tea Party

Exhibited at the RA in 1876

signed with monogram
27 x 22"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

J M W Turner - the sea

[Fishermen at Sea] 1796
oil on canvas
Tate Gallery
[The Shipwreck] 1805
oil on canvas
Tate Gallery

Peter Paul Marshall - Clerical Life

[The Rich Cleric and his Wife]
[The Labourer is Worthy of his Bread]
a pair - 20 x 16"
oil on panel
one has a label '8 Red Lion Square' which was the workshop of William Morris' workshop between 1861 - 5.
Marshall knew the Pre-Raphaelites, in particular Ford Madox Brown and was a founder member of Morris, Marshall, Faulkener and Co. in 1861.

Frederick Daniel Hardy - Hide and Seek

37 x 32"

William Henry Knight - A Game of Base-Ball

oil on panel
exhibited at the RA in the same year
19 x 25"

George Smith - Little Villagers

oil on panel
18 x 13 3/4"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

J M W Turner - Music Party, Petworth

oil on canvas
Tate Gallery

(Sir) Edwin Henry Landseer - Portrait of Lady Dyke

oil on board
15 x 10"
Probably 1840's but the first record is of it being in the collection of a Mr Dingley in 1852
There is another sketch of her called 'Redleaf' dated 1831
Lady Dyke was the daughter of J. Wells, a cousin of William Wells, Landseer's friend and patron.

John Simmons - A Walk in the Summer Field

Watercolour heightened with white
signed and dated
20.5 x 29"

John Atkinson Grimshaw - two pictures

[Moonlit Whitby] 1874
oil on board
signed and dated
8.5 x 17.5"
[Greenock Docks on the Clyde at Night] 1882
signed and dated
18.5 x 30"

Clarkson Stanfield - The Castle of Ischia (Castello D'Ischia) from the Mole

[The Castle of Ischia (Castello D'Ischia) from the Mole]
commissioned by G. Knott
56 x 91"
exhibited at the RA 1841
seems to have been painted (or sketched) on his journey to Naples in 1838 probably on Christmas Eve when there was a violent storm. It was a big success at the RA and Goodall made a fine engraving of it in 1844 for the Art Union.

56 x 91"
commissioned by G. Knott and in his collection to 1845
exhibited RA 1841

[Mouth of the Scheldt] 1835
1793 - 1867.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How Philip Mould found a Gainsborough on eBay

Philip Mould has discovered, restored and found 'lost' paintings including a Gainsborough, he reveals in his book Sleuth
Ed Caesar
Sunday Times

John Wilson Carmichael - pair

[Freshwater Bay from the East and West]
Isle of Purbeck in the distance
both signed and dated
each 20 x 28 1/4"

Benjamin Williams Leader - Derwentwater

but inscribed 'retouched 1878'
Leader painted a number of views of Derwentwater 1868-9.
28 x 48"

John E. Nicholls

[Chrysanthemums] '47
inscribed with an address in Chiswick
oil on canvas
exh 1923 - 1947.

George Smith of Chichester - Cat still life

[Ham, cheese, eggs, lemons, with a captured mouse and cat]
oil on canvas

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Victorian London clips

Love the music by Ralph McTell

John Singer Sargent - Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth

oil on canvas
Tate Gallery

Robinson Elliot

[The Race] 1865
inscribed 'Grainger St/Newcastle on Tyne'
signed R.Elliott/1865 l.l.
13 3/4 x 21"
oil on panel
1814 - 1894.

Donald Wood - The Little Yacht

oil on canvas
signed DONALD WOOD 1924 l.r.
16 x 24"

Charles Thomas Bale

[Grapes, peaches and plums on a mossy bank]
oil on canvas
fl. 1868 - 1872.
including works currently for sale

Eloise Harriet Stannard - Strawberries

[Strawberries and cabbage leaf in a wicker basket] 1888
oil on canvas

Saturday, May 23, 2009