Saturday, October 31, 2009

Memento mori - Remember that you are mortal

Abney Park Cemetery

Southampton Old Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery

photos courtesy National Federation of Cemetery Friends

Dead photos – Victorian post-mortem photographs

Death - the last taboo

(Thank you to Elspeth for suggesting the subject of Victorian death photography.)

Brookwood Cemetery - Memorial to William and Evelyn De Morgan

Courtesy Brookwood Cemetery

(Thank you to Julia Kerr who shared information about the memorial.)

John McKirdy Duncan (Scottish, 1866-1945)

Baba and Billy, 1920


A few more works from The Modernist Journals Project

Fire Fancies - Arthur Hacker

Fire Fancies

Weird fire-light dreams are hers. On her young sight
Strange faces grow, wrapp'd in the ruddy light,
And fade, while through the caves and grots of flame
Move changing shapes like phantoms of the night.
William Wilsey Martin (1891)


Quatrain by William Wilsey Martin courtesy ArtMagick
More from Martin:
Quatrains: life's mystery, and other poems
By William Wilsey Martin, 1891

Arthur Hacker (British, 1858-1919)

Autumn, c. 1905

Friday, October 30, 2009

Giovanni Boldini - Natura Morta Con Rose

Natura Morta Con Rose
Oil on Panel
73 by 54.5cm., 28¾ by 21½in.

"Renowned for his dynamic brushstrokes and spontaneous compositions, Boldini painted this refreshingly original still life of roses circa 1905. Best known for his society portraits, Boldini executed few flower subjects, if any, on this scale and with this level of finish making the appearance of the present work a rare and exciting event."

"The first-known owner of the present work, the Marquis de Biron, almost certainly acquired the painting directly from Boldini. An intimate friend of the Marquis, Boldini spent the summer of 1901 painting in the French countryside as his guest."
- from the Sotheby's catalogue notes

Giovanni Boldini - John Singer Sargent and a drawing

John Singer Sargent, 1890
oil on panel

A Standing Man, ... Looking at a Painting on an Easel

Boldini In His Studio - 1887

Room of the Painter

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Giovanni Boldini - Four Drawings

The third drawing was part of this 1998 Christie's auction.
The other drawings were Lots 374, 375 and 377 in a 2006 sale.

The three from the 2006 sale were from the collection of François Ducharne (1883-1975). "He specialized, with great success, in the production of silk of high-quality intended for the largest dressmakers of his time, Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Balenciaga." (From the Babelfish translation of the Lot Notes.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Giovanni Boldini - Portrait of the Marchesa Luisa Casati, With A Greyhound

"Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931) was an Italian portrait painter known as the 'Master of Swish' due to his flowing style of painting. His work has some impressionist influence, but he is most often compared to fellow portraitist John Singer Sargent. He became the most fashionable portrait painter of the late 19th century in Paris. His work can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and the National Portrait Gallery in London but the majority of his paintings remain in private collections (due to the fact that they were mainly commissioned).

As a painter of society portraits, Boldini painted the chicest dresses of his time. His ability to render fabrics was breathtaking. The colour, the shimmer and the movement are beautiful. His work influences fashion designers today, most notably John Galliano. His subjects are also inspiring, including fashion icons like the Marchesa Casati whom he painted on more than one occasion."
- from Glamour and Glitter: Fashion in Art

More Boldini

The Black Sash, 1905

Portrait of Rita De Acosta Lydig, 1911

Portrait of Madame Josephina Alvear De Errazuriz, 1892

Giovanni Boldini - Emiliana Concha de Ossa

Portrait of Emiliana Concha de Ossa, 1888

Signorina Concha de Ossa, c. 1888
Emiliana Concha de Ossa was born February 21st 1862 in Valparaiso, Chile.
She died October 15th 1905 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
She was the granddaughter of the Chilean diplomat Luis Subercasaeux.

Giovanni Boldini, 1842-1931

From the video selections of Accabadora

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fashion in Film exhibit (from 2004-2007)

Brochure from the exhibit. (courtesy


Liv Tyler as Tatyana in the film, Onegin
This dress wasn't included in the exhibition (but, I love it :)
The red dress above (upper left) is also from the film.

The costumes exhibited were made by COSPROP.

The exhibit was divided into 3 areas: "Section one [showed] costumes about historical figures such as Elizabeth I, Louis XIV, Thomas Jefferson, and [covered] the era from the 16th to 19th centuries. Also included in this section [were] costumes from Ever After, Dangerous Liaisons, and movies based on Jane Austen's books."

"Section two [displayed] costumes from classic literary movies set from 1827 to the late 19th century - such as Eugene Onegin, Portrait of a Lady, The Golden Bowl and more."

"Section three [progressed] into the 20th century with costumes from such films as Titanic, Evita, Room With a View, Gosford Park and others." - from Judy Mitchell's article

One of the exhibition venues was the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate in Delaware.

Their website information about the 2007 exhibit includes short audio clips with information about some of the costumes.
Exhibit Photo Archive

Monday, October 26, 2009

Verses from Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin, 1827
Vasily Tropinin

"In the hope of making Pushkin available to more readers, especially those who have only a slight knowledge of Russian, or none at all, this web site [see below] is dedicated to providing a translation of some of his poems. The Russian text is set alongside the translation, to provide easy comparisons for those who wish to make their own efforts."

From the website Pushkin's Poems -

Engene Onegin (see also the post below from earlier today)

From near the end of the verse novel starting with 42.

She does not seek to make him stand,
And not withdrawing from him her eyes
From his greedy lips she does not prize
Her senseless and unconscious hand.
What at this moment are her dreams? ...
A long and silent interval
Then passes. Then quietly she speaks:
"Enough; stand up. To you I shall
Declare my thoughts quite openly.
Onegin, you remember, surely,
That hour, when in our garden alley,
Fate brought us close, and unprotestingly
I heard the sermon that you thought to preach.
But now it is my turn to teach.

Skipping now to 45 ...

I weep now.... But if your former Tanya
You have still not forgotten even now,
Then know this: the bitterness of your anger
The stern talk, the coldness of your brow,
If it should be but within my power
I would prefer it to this mean passion,
To these tears, these letters that you fashion.
For to my young dreams in that distant hour
You then at least showed some sympathy,
And some respect for my girlish years...
But now! Why here? What foolishness
Brought you here to my feet? What sordidness?
How, with the heart and the mind that you have
Do you display the soul of the meanest slave?

But for me, Onegin, this luxuriance,
This tinsel glare of a harsh existence,
My status in glittering society's whirl,
My modern home and evening parties,
What are they? I would renounce them all,
And all these rags of showy pretence,
This noisy sparkle, this rich incense,
For a shelf of books or a ragged garden,
For our old house, poor and humble too,
And all those places, where long ago,
Onegin, I first set my eyes on you,
And for that graveyard, quiet, retired,
Where a cross under the shade of trees and skies,
Marks where my poor old nurse now lies.

Yet happiness seemed so possible,
So near at hand!... But now the book
Of fate is shut. Inadmissible
Perhaps was the course I took:
My mother with her tears of entreaty
Prayed me to marry; for poor Tanya
All lots were equal and indifferent...
I married. Onegin, leave me,
You must, I ask you, and I know
Within you there are nobler feelings,
Your pride, and your honourable dealings.
I love you ( why should I deceive you?)
But I am given to another now,
And I will eternally keep my vow.
- - - - - - - - - - -

Onegin and Evanescence's - October

From the video selection of Melodia444

The film, Onegin, with Ralph Fiennes as Evgeny Onegin and Liv Tyler as Tatyana Larina is the screen adaptation of
Alexander Pushkin's verse novel,
Eugene Onegin.
Martha Fiennes (Ralph's younger sister) directed Onegin.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Julia Margaret Cameron's Photograph of Alice Liddell as Alethea

Alice Liddell as Alethea, 1872
Julia Margaret Cameron

This was shown as Lot 56 from the 2001 Sotheby's auction, Lewis Carroll's Alice: The Photographs, Books, Papers and Personal Effects of Alice Liddell and Her Family ...
(The catalogue lists it as, "Alice cast as Pomona, Roman divinity of the trees" - instead of Alethea)
Lot 57 - King Lear and His Three Daughters
Lot 58 - Letter from Sir Henry Taylor, about Julia Margaret Cameron's photographs of the Liddell sisters

Photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron - and a painting by George Frederic Watts

Julia Margaret Cameron
by George Frederic Watts
oil on canvas, 1850-1852

Julia Margaret Cameron
by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron, 1870
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

From the National Portrait Gallery (UK)
Five more photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)

A video from tranmere123

- - - - - -

"I longed to arrest all beauty that came before me, and at length the longing has been satisfied. Its difficulty enhanced the value of the pursuit. I began with no knowledge of the art. I did not know where to place my dark box, how to focus my sitter, and my first picture I effaced to my consternation by rubbing my hand over the filmy side of the glass..."
Julia Margaret Cameron from her book, Annals of my Glass House

- - - - - -

"Annals of my glass house, an unfinished autobiography written in 1874, is a record of Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron's first ten years of work. It was first published posthumously by her youngest son, Henry Herschel Hay Cameron, in a catalogue to the exhibition "Mrs. Cameron's Photographs" at the Camera Gallery, London, in 1889."
"This version was researched, compiled and annotated by Violet Hamilton in 1996, for publication in a catalogue of the same name."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sir Frank Dicksee - The Duet

'St John's Wood Art Club / A cabinet of works by members ...'
including Sir Frank Dicksee (#2).
(With other works by Dicksee shown along the right side of the first webpage linked to above from Christie's.)


Sir Frank Dicksee circa 1880

Woodburytype portrait from Men of Mark published by Lock and Whitfield from 1876-1882.

Sir Frank Dicksee - Flowers of June (1909)