Sunday, February 28, 2010

Edgar Hunt - The Best of Friends

signed and dated l.r.: E Hunt 1918

oil on canvas
22 by 30 in.

Wright Barker - No Walk Today

signed and dated l.r.: Wright Barker 1898

oil on canvas
28 by 36 in.

Walter Hunt - Summertime

signed and dated l.r.: W HUNT. 1909

oil on canvas
20 by 30 in.

Blandford Fletcher - The Truants


oil on board
15 by 12 1/4 in.


including works currently for sale

Alfred Augustus Glendening - On the Thames

signed and dated l.l.: A. A. Glendening. 1903

oil on canvas
24 by 42 in.

Henry Brittan Willis - The Ploughman's Team

signed l.l.: H Brittan Willis; further signed and inscribed with the artist's address on an old label attached to the reverse of the frame

oil on canvas
38 by 60 in.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Emily Mary Osborn

[Nameless and Friendless]

William Bouguereau - "L’Amour et Psyché",

NEW YORK, NY.- This spring, Sotheby’s will bring to the market a superb work by iconic French Academic painter William Bouguereau. L’Amour et Psyché, dated 1899, is estimated at $1.8/2.2 million and will be featured in the 23 April sale of 19th Century European Art. Sold from a Distinguished Private Collection, the painting has been off the market for almost half a century. Its last known public exhibition was at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900.

Throughout his career, Bouguereau repeatedly interpreted the subject of Love – drawing inspiration from key figures in Greek mythology such as Cupid, Venus, and Psyché. While many of Bouguereau’s compositions featuring this subject depict an adult maiden surrounded by cherubic putti; a child Cupid taunting a more mature Venus; or both Cupid and Psyché as children, L’Amour et Psyché shows the mythological lovers Cupid and Psyché as young adults, one of only three known versions of this subject. Complementing the rarity of the subject matter is its size; the two characters are almost larger than life, a powerful visual effect made even more dramatic by their apparent suspension mid-air. The large scale draws attention to Bouguereau’s superior technical skill; both figures are strikingly life-like, their skin and musculature carefully modeled to suggest living bodies.

The tale of Cupid and Psyché greatly appealed to turn-of-the-century audiences for its obvious themes of love, beauty, jealousy and perseverance and the ultimate conclusion that love conquers all. Psyché, a young mortal woman of exceptional beauty, drives the powerful goddess of Love, Venus, into a jealous rage, who in turn commands her son Cupid to use his famous golden arrow to make her fall eternally in love with a monster. Cupid is too overcome with her beauty, and accidentally scratches himself with his arrow, falling deeply in love with the human girl. After a complex series of trials and tests created by Venus to destroy Psyché, the young mortal woman prevails and she and Cupid are united in a marriage blessed by Jupiter and Psyché is transformed into a goddess.

In L’Amour et Psyché Bouguereau depicts the “ravishing” of Psyché, or the taking of her by Cupid to his celestial lair. Representing the transportive power of Love, Cupid literally moves Psyché through the air, away from Earthly hardships, and toward a divine haven for their love. Cupid’s role as Psyché’s protector is reinforced by his lean physical strength and broad, outstretched wings. Psyché is often represented by butterfly wings, as her name in Greek literally means “soul” or “butterfly.” She has come to represent the human spirit’s ability to emerge from darkness.

Edgar Hunt - Feeding Time

signed and dated l.r.: E Hunt 1926

oil on canvas
11 by 15 in.

Walter Hunt - Gathering Strays

signed and dated (l.l.) : W. HUNT. 1911
oil on canvas
7 x 10 1/4"

John Emms - Ready for the Morning Ride

signed and dated l.l.: J. EMMS 78

oil on canvas
12 by 16 in.

George Cole - The Last Load

signed and dated l.r.: George Cole/ 1865

oil on canvas
20 by 30 in.

Benjamin Williams Leader - Bettws-Y-Coed, North Wales

signed and dated l.l.: B. W. LEADER. 1897

oil on panel
12 1/2 by 17 in.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Christiana Herringham and the Edwardian Art Scene book

by Mary Lago
Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd (1996)

Thomas Sidney Cooper

[Cattle, Sheep and Goats in a Canterbury Meadow]
signed and dated l.r.: T Sidney Cooper ARA/ 1857

oil on canvas
27 1/2 by 48 1/2 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 36,500 GBP

[Evening, Fordwich Meadows, near Canterbury]
signed and dated l.r.: T. S. Cooper/ 1843

oil on canvas
48 by 72 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 48,500 GBP

Richard Ansdell - Hawking

signed with initials and dated l.r.: 18 RA 63; further signed and inscribed with the artist's address on an old label attached to the stretcher

oil on canvas
55 1/4 by 34 1/4 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 36,500 GBP


Sidney Richard Percy - River Landscapes

each signed l.r.: S R Percy.

both oil on canvas, circular
each diameter 39 cm., 15 1/2 in.

Edward Hughes - Christmas Greetings

signed l.r.: Edward Hughes

oil on canvas
63 1/2 by 49 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 24,500 GBP

Thomas Brooks - The Stepping Stones

signed l.r.: T Brooks

oil on canvas
33 by 25 in.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rediscovered Van Gogh exhibited

A painting of a windmill recently identified as a Van Gogh has gone on display at a Dutch museum.

Experts at Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum concluded Le Blute-fin Mill was painted by the Dutch artist in 1886.

Delaroche's Execution of Lady Jane Grey: Royals to the slaughter

Why was this painting of Lady Jane Grey's beheading such a hit in 1830s France? Jonathan Jones on Delaroche's hidden agenda


Alfred James Munning - The Start, Newmarket

[Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959), "The Start, Newmarket" , signed 'A.J.Munnings' (lower right). Oil on canvas, (46 x 61.5 cm.) 18 1/8 x 24 1/4 inches. Painted mid-1930s. Estimate: £500,000-700,000. Photo: Courtesy Bonhams]

Race to the Starting Line for Bonhams 20th Century British Art Sale this March

Edmund Blair Leighton - Lay thy sweet hand in mine and trust in me

signed and dated l.r.: E. BLAIR LEIGHTON. 1891

oil on canvas
60 by 41 in.

John Callcott Horsley - The Unwilling Salute, "Discipline Oblige"

signed l.r.: J .C. Horsley 1878; inscribed and signed on an old label attached to the stretcher; The Unwilling Salute/ "Discipline Oblige"/ J. C. Horsley - RA

oil on canvas
28 1/4 by 36 in.

William Powell Frith - Study for the Last Sunday of Charles II

inscribed and signed on an old label attached to the reverse of the frame: Last Sunday of Charles II/ W P Frith RA

oil on canvas
11 by 19 in.

Henry Nelson O'Neil - Head of an Eastern Beauty

signed and dated l.r.: H. ONeil. 1857

oil on canvas, oval
10 1/2 by 9 in.

William Holman Hunt - Portrait of William Pink

bears an inscription on an old label attached to the reverse: Portrait of Willm Pink Painted by W. Holman Hunt about 1842/ his cousin

oil on canvas laid on panel
23 1/2 by 19 in.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Edwardian London

Trooping The Colour, London in Colour 1906

Frederick William Elwell - The First Born

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

John Anster Fitzgerald - Fairyland

signed with initials and dated l.r.: JAF 87

oil on canvas
12 by 10 in.

John William Godward - An Amateur

signed and dated l.c.: J W GODWARD. 1915.

oil on canvas
24 by 30 in.

Edward John Poynter - The Corner of the Villa

signed with initials and dated in the mosaic: CCC E.J.P. LXXXIX

oil on canvas
24 1/2 by 24 1/2 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 264,500 GBP

Edwin Long - A Votary of Isis

signed with monogram and dated 1883 l.l.

oil on canvas
26 by 20 in.

Edward John Poynter - Fishing, The Nymph of the Stream

signed with monogram and indistinctly dated 1906 on the side of the boulder at the left and further signed with monogram and dated 1914 l.l. on the side of the boulder at the right

oil on canvas
32 1/4 by 22 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 96,500 GBP

John William Godward - The Day Dream

signed and dated l.l.: J. W. GODWARD 1920

oil on canvas
20 by 39.5 in.
Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 322,900 GBP

Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Proclaiming Claudius Emperor

signed and dated l.r.: L. Alma-Tadema 67

oil on panel
18 ½ by 24 in.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Georgian London web site

For those who want to go a century further back

"voted 'History Website of 2009' by the online readers of History Today Magazine, and also won the 2009 Cliopatria Award for 'Best Individual Blog' and 'Best New Blog'"


For those who want to move forward in time for a great American Edwardian blog:

James Hayllar - The First Born at the Cottage

Oil on canvas, signed ,exhibited at RA in 1881
20ins x 30ins

Charles Spencelayh - Filling the Lamp

signed C. SPENCELAYH l.r.
oil on canvas
16 x 14.5"

including works currently for sale

Briton Riviere - War Time

signed and dated l.r.: Briton Riviére/ 1874; inscribed with the title on an old label attached to the reverse

oil on canvas
43 1/2 by 49 1/2 in.

John Atkinson Grimshaw - A Wet Road by Moonlight, Wharfdale

signed, inscribed and dated l.l. Atkinson Grimshaw No 8/ 1872+; inscribed, signed and dated on the backboard: A Wet Road by Moonlight/ Atkinson Grimshaw No 8/ 1872+

oil on cardboard
20 ½ by 16 ½ in.

Sidney Richard Percy -

signed and dated l.r.: S R Percy. 65

oil on canvas
24 by 30 in.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Birth of Cheap Communication (and Junk Mail) (article)

In Victorian London, though service wasn’t 24/7, it was close to 12/6. Home delivery routes would go by every house 12 times a day — yes, 12. In 1889, for example, the first delivery began about 7:30 a.m. and the last one at about 7:30 p.m. In major cities like Birmingham by the end of the century, home routes were run six times a day.

“In London, people complained if a letter didn’t arrive in a couple of hours,” said Catherine J. Golden, a professor of English at Skidmore College and author of “Posting It: The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing” (2009).

And, not unlike us, most Victorian letter writers seemed more concerned about getting a rapid response than a long one. “Return of post” was an often-used phrase, requesting an immediate response, in time for the next scheduled delivery that day.

Dame Laura Knight - two paintings

[Girls Picking Flowers by the Sea]
signed l.l.: Laura Knight.

watercolour and gouache
21 1/2 by 24 in.

30,000—40,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 36,000 GBP

[The Ballerina, Lydia Lopokova]
signed l.l.: Laura Knight

oil on canvas
14 by 16 in.

estimate : 30,000—40,000 GBP

Lydia Lopokova was born in St Petersburg in 1892 and trained at the Imperial Ballet School. In 1910 Lydia left her homeland and joined the Diaghilev ballet, only staying with the company briefly and leaving for the United States after the summer tour concluded. She remained in America for six years before rejoining Diaghilev in 1916. She danced with the Ballets Russes and with her former partner Vaslav Nijinsky in New York and London. It was not until 1918 that she became well-known in London following the success of Good Humoured Ladies and an energetic performance with Leonide Massine in the Can-Can of La Boutique Fantasque. Lydia's first marriage to Diaghilev's business manager Randolfo Barrochi broke down in 1919 and for a short time the pretty little dancer disappeared. She was persuaded to rejoin the Diaghilev in 1921 when she danced as the Lilac Fairy and Princess Aurora in a production of The Sleeping Princess. In the 1920s she became a friend of Stravinsky, and of Picasso who drew her portrait on several occasions. It was also at this time that she became familiar with members of the Bloomsbury set and was introduced to her future husband John Maynard Keynes whom she married in 1925.

Knight met the beautiful and diminutive ballerina Lydia Lopokova around 1919, when Diaghilev's Ballets Russes returned to London and Knight was allowed to work backstage in the dressing rooms and wings of the theatre. Lydia noticed Laura sketching her one day and to Knight's discomfort asked that she might take a look at the sketch. The artist and her model agreed that the sketch was not very good and Knight was invited to visit Lydia's dressing room to study her at closer quarters. 'I wanted to watch, see things, get ideas, become familiar with all that happened. I knew it was going to take ages before I knew my subject, which was vast and held great possibilities... Soon Lopokova's quick understanding realised what was wanted. Her room should be my studio, she would never stay in any position on my account, she would go on with her make-up and dressing, standing in front of the long glass and go through positions and steps. We were both workers. There was to be no conversation; it was to be as if I did not exist. The privilege she gave me was most valuable... I sat in a corner, silent like a shadow, studying and making notes of everything that happened, from taking off the day-dress to the final fantasy.' (Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint, 1936, p. 226) The freedom that Lydia gave to Knight to observe her in her dressing-room created several intimate paintings of life back-stage; 'In the glow of the electric bulbs her pale skin and hair were warm, turned to gold. The White tarlatan of her "Sylphides" dress filled the room, herself in it a sprite... Sweet scent of powder and grease-paint filled the air. Everything was glorious to paint; the contrast between the black-clothed dresser and the artificial brilliance, the character of the make-up table, its candle to heat the eyelash black, the white enamelled furniture and the white drugget on the floor' (ibid Knight, pp. 226-227). Knight had a particular affection and fascination with the red armchair which appears in the present painting, which she described as 'a thing of joy. Its seat bore the impress of the hundreds who had sat on it exalting in their success, they had passed on - the chair remained, extending its comforting arms to the next occupant of No. 1 Dressing-room. I was sentimental about that chair and imagined it saying, "Stars come and stars go, but I'm in the star dressing-room longer than any of them." (ibid Knight, p. 227)