Sunday, February 14, 2010

Arthur Hughes - Amy

"... the young woman, Amy, appears to be waiting for her lover. As she adjusts her hair in preparation for meeting him, her eye rests on her name carved in the bark of the tree. ... Hughes used the shawl worn by Amy in his later painting 'April Love'." - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

(for a better look at the lovely work, please click on the image)

Arthur Hughes @ ArtMagick

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Julia Margaret Cameron - Scenes of Pre-Raphaelite grace

Pre-Raphaelite study, 1870
(May Prinsep)

(Hatty Campbell, I believe)

The Dream, 1869
(Mary Hillier)

'My Aspirations are to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real and Ideal and sacrificing nothing of the Truth by all possible devotion to Poetry and beauty.' - Julia Margaret Cameron to Sir John Herschel, 31 December, 1864


Julia Margaret Cameron biography from the V&A Museum - Link

Annals Of My Glass House
An autobiography by Julia Margaret Cameron
Text compiled and annotated by Violet Hamilton - Link
From the 2001-2002 National Gallery of Victoria exhibition - Link

Dimbola Lodge, Galleries and Photographic Museum,
Isle of Wight - Link

Sunday, February 7, 2010

John William Waterhouse - St Cecilia, 1895

"... in 'St Cecilia' Mr Waterhouse has taken another stride forward. There is not, perhaps, the mystery which has invested so many of his pictures with indescribable charm; but there are here greater merits, as compensation, in the composition, fine and well balanced, and a true sense of poetry, in its wider significance of conception, handling, colour, and painter-like quality. The artist's imagination....has been well supported by his generous palette; and his wealth of colour, of mauve and white, of green and blue and red, are resolved into a harmony exquisitely adapted to the subject." - The Magazine of Art via Christie's catalogue notes and Peter Trippi

My first opportunity to see Waterhouse's St Cecilia came in June 2000 when it was shown at Christie's in London. In December when I visited the exhibit in Montréal I was able to view it once more. This time, for more extended periods which was such a joy. I was able to stand closely and admire the artist's work. At other times, I was the only person in the room as I sat and gazed upon its beauty. I was able to visit the exhibit over a three day period. As I entered the exhibit for the first time and found works I had never seen in person before, tears of joy welled up. The colours were so much more vivid in person - the works so impressive. On my first day's visit when I arrived in the last room, I found St Cecilia there ... along with other wonderful works ... again the tears of joy came as the beauty of John William Waterhouse was all around me. Today is the last day of the exhibit ... so mixed feelings of regret and thankfulness surround me. I'm so glad I was able to make the trek to Montréal.

'In a clear walled city on the sea,
Near gilded organ pipes...
...slept St Cecily'

oil on canvas
48½ x 79 in. (123.2 x 200.7 cm.)

From Didier Rykner of The Art Tribune - an article about the exhibit.

From Matthew Innis - A visit with Waterhouse ...

From Margaret Smith - Enchantment blooms at Waterhouse exhibit ...

From Neil Miley who visited the exhibit at its first location - a review.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From ArtMagick - A Visit to Kelmscott, home of William Morris

ArtMagick at YouTube - LINK


May Morris

circa 1890

Embroidered Panel
c.1885 stamped MORRIS & CO. to reverse of frame
19 3/8in. (49.2cm.) high

mahogany, silk
32 5/8in. (82.8cm.) high

"By producing small embroideries, for firescreens and cushions, many more people were able to acquire designs. Many of these designs were sold in kit form, becoming the financial mainstay of the business. The designs were available in three different stages of completion; as background fabric marked with the design to be embroidered entirely at home, with the embroidery already started as a guide or, all the work could be done in the Morris & Co workshops.

William Morris in 1885 handed over the management of the Embroidery Section to his daughter May, aged 23. She had already designed embroideries and was a skilled embroideress. All designs for embroidery were either designed by her or John Henry Dearle, Morris's assistant, who on Morris's death became Art Director."
- Meg Andrews

Photograph by Frederick Hollyer
circa 1890

A threefold screen
Designed by J.H. Dearle and May Morris, circa 1885,
retailed by Morris & Co.
Mahogany frame with ebony banding,
glazed panels with satin stitch embroidery,
central drop leaf shelf
69in. (177.3cm.) high; 20in. (51.3cm.) width of side panels;
23in. (58.7cm.) width of central panel
Stamped twice Morris & Co 449 Oxford St West, numbered 1586

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kelmscott Manor - For the Bed at Kelmscott

"In William Morris's room at Kelmscott Manor, the early-seventeenth century carved oak bed has an embroidered valance and bed-hangings that were designed in 1891 by May Morris, his daughter, and worked by May with the help of Lily Yeats and Ellen Wright (two Morris & Co. embroiderers). The poem "For the Bed at Kelmscott" was written by William Morris for the project. [It is is embroidered on the vallance.] May Morris also designed the bedcover, which was embroidered by Jane Morris ..." -Link-

THE wind's on the wold
And the night is a-cold,
And Thames runs chill
'Twixt mead and hill.
But kind and dear
Is the old house here
And my heart is warm
'Midst winter's harm.
Rest then and rest,
And think of the best
'Twixt summer and spring,
When all birds sing
In the town of the tree,
And ye in me
And scarce dare move,
Lest earth and its love
Should fade away
Ere the full of the day.
I am old and have seen
Many things that have been;
Both grief and peace
And wane and increase
No tale I tell
Of ill or well,
But this I say:
Night treadeth on day,
And for worst and best
Right good is rest.

Kelmscott Manor
painting by May Morris

More about Kelmscott Manor from Margaret:

First image courtesy ... William Morris Fan Club