Friday, August 13, 2010
John Riley Wilmer - Painter's Vision : Angela Dorothea
signed and dated 'J Riley Wilmer/1903' and signed, inscribed and dated 'PAINTER'S VISION: ANGELA DOROTHEA./ (WATERCOLOUR)/ J. Riley Wilmer 1903 on the reverse; watercolour and bodycolour
26 1/2 x 17 1/4 in. (16.3 x 43.8cm.)
Cornwall's most notable 'last romantic', Wilmer seems to have lived all his life In Falmouth, where his father was a chemist. He studied under Charles Napier Hemy, to whom this picture belonged, and knew Henry Scott Tykes and T. C.Gotch. His watercolour A Dream of the Sorrowful Way recalling 'a design for a stained glass window by Burne-Jones, assisted by the ghost of Albert Durer', is said to have been hailed as 'the artistic surprise of the year' in 1905. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1911 to 1926 and painted an altarpiece for Falmouth Church, where he is buried.
Painted when the artist was twenty. the picture clearly has some autobiographical significance, and it would be interesting to know if Wilmer married a girl called Dorothy. Equally, the imagery seems to derive from the familiar legend of St Dorothy. who, after suffering martyrdom under Diocletian, sent an angel from paradise bearing a basket of fruit and flowers to convince the notary Theophilus of the truth of Christianity. As Wilmer would probably have known Burne-Jones had treated this subject in a picture exhibited in 1867.
at 1:00 PM