Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More Chinoiserie for Brighton

Frederick Crace
Wall Design for Banqueting Room
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1815-22
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Wall Design for Anteroom
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Blue Drawing Room Door and Overdoor
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1815-22
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

CHINOISERIE

Is it the moon afar
     Yonder appears?
Nay!  'tis the evening star
     Seen through my tears.

 J.K. Wetherill, published in Poetry (Chicago), December, 1915

Frederick Crace
Design for Yellow Room Door and Overdoor
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum


Frederick Crace
Design for Entrance Hall, North Wall
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Entrance Hall, West Wall
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Entrance Hall, West Wall
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Gallery
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1803
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Lobby
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1815-22
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Passageway with Canopy
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1803
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Wall Design for King's Apartments
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1815-22
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Wall Design with Bookcases  for King's Library
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Bed with Tented Alcove
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1804
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Wall Design for Corridor
Royal Pavilion, Brighton

ca. 1802
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Designs for the Brighton Pavilion by Frederick Crace

Frederick Crace
Exterior view of Frederick Crace and Son Establishment, 14 Wigmore Street, London
ca. 1827-40
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace (1779-1859) is identified in the Dictionary of National Biography as an "architectural decorator," famously skilled at blending Chinese, Islamic and Mughal elements into the "exoticism" that prevailed at the top of the market in his day.  He supplied a plenitude of inspirations for the interiors of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, enlarged and radically refitted for George IV between 1815 and 1822.  Crace produced numerous alternative proposals in the form of highly finished watercolors and gouaches, as sampled here.  These offered a range of schemes and choices, ultimately intended for execution by lesser craftspeople.

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room, North Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1818-19
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room, North Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1818-19
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room, South Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1818-19
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room, West Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1818-19
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room Carpet, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1818-19
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room Ceiling with Fretwork Balcony and Open Sky, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1820
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room, West Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1817
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room Curtains, East Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
1820
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room Curtains, East Wall, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1817
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Music Room Curtains, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1818-19
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Window Alcove, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1815-22
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Window Alcove, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
1822
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Frederick Crace
Design for Wall Decoration with Oriental Landscape, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
ca. 1815-22
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Monday, November 20, 2017

Painted Views of English Rooms

Augustus Charles Pugin
Library at Cassiobury
before 1816
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

William Henry Hunt
Green Drawing Room of the Earl of Essex at Cassiobury
1823
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous English artist
Large Salon with Organ
1830
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

William Alfred Delamotte
Drawing Room at Middleton Park, Oxfordshire
1839
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

William Alfred Delamotte
Drawing Room looking toward Conservatory, Middleton Park, Oxfordshire
1840
watercolor gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous English artist
Drawing Room
ca. 1842
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

 "Mr. Harding had ever mixed something of fear with his warm affection for his elder son-in-law, and now in these closing hours of his life he could not avoid a certain amount of shrinking from that loud voice  a certain inaptitude to be quite at his ease in that commanding presence.  The dean, his second son-in-law, had been a modern friend in comparison with the archdeacon: but the dean was more gentle with him: and then the dean's wife had ever been the dearest to him of human beings.  It may be a doubt whether one of the dean's children was not now almost more dear, and whether in these days he did not have more free communication with that little girl than with any other human being.  Her name was Susan, but he had always called her Posy, having himself invented for her that soubriquet.  . . .  Posy was now five years old, and could talk well, and had her own ideas of things.  Posy's eyes,  hers, and no other besides her own,  were allowed to see the inhabitant of the big black case [a cello]; and now that the deanery was so nearly deserted, Posy's fingers had touched the strings, and had produced an infantine moan.  'Grandpa, let me do it again.'  Twang!  It was not, however, in truth, a twang, but a sound as of a prolonged dull, almost deadly, hum-m-m-m-m!  On this occasion the moan was not entirely infantine,  Posy's fingers have been something too strong, – and the case was closed and locked, and grandpa shook his head.   
     'But Mrs. Baxter won't be angry,' said Posy.  Mrs. Baxter was the housekeeper in the deanery, and had Mr. Harding under her especial charge.
     'No, my darling; Mrs. Baxter will not be angry, but we mustn't disturb the house.'
     'No,' said Posy, with much of important awe in her tone; 'we mustn't disturb the house; must we, grandpapa?'  And so she gave in her adhesion to the closing of the case.  But Posy could play cat's-cradle, and as cat's-cradle did not disturb the house at all, there was a good deal of cat's-cradle played in these days.  Posy's fingers were soft and pretty, so small and deft, that the dear old man delighted in taking the strings from them, and in having them taken from his own by those tender little digits."
     
 – Anthony Trollope, from The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)

Charles James Richardson
Entrance Hall, East Sutton Place, Kent
1844
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Charles James Richardson
Library in Gothic Style
ca. 1860
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Joseph Nash the Elder
Elizabethan Room at Lyme Hall, Cheshire
1872
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Henry Robert Robertson
Hall Place, Leigh near Tonbridge, Kent
1878
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

M F Pearce
Library, Brabourne Vicarage
ca. 1890
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

"A daughter of the archdeacon had made a splendid matrimonial alliance,  so splendid that its history was at the time known to all the aristocracy of the county, and had not been altogether forgotten by any of those who keep themselves well instructed in the detail of the peerage.  Griselda Grantly had married Lord Dumbello, the eldest son of the Marquis of Hartletop,  than whom no English nobleman was more puissant, if broad acres, many castles, high title, and stars and ribbons are any signs of puissance,  and she was now, herself, Marchioness of Hartletop, with a little Lord Dumbello of her own.  The daughter's visits to the parsonage of her father were of necessity rare, such necessity having come from her own altered sphere of life.  A Marchioness of Hartletop has special duties which will hardly permit her to devote herself frequently to the humdrum society of a clerical father and mother.  That it would be so, father and mother understood when they sent the fortunate girl forth to a higher world.  But, now and again, since her august marriage, she had laid her coroneted head upon one of the old rectory pillows for a night or so, and on such occasions all the Plumsteadians had been loud in praise of her condescension."

 Anthony Trollope, from The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)

M F Pearce
Informal Sitting Room, Brabourne Vicarage
1893
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
 
Maria Cheval Tooke
Drawing Room, Cosham House
1892
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Edward Lampson Henry
Library
ca. 1915
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

English Bodies in Art

Abraham Kent
Right hand and arm of Victoria, Princess Royal
1843
marble
Royal Collection, Great Britain

"Following Queen Victoria's death in 1901 a collection of fourteen marble hands and feet, facsimiles of the infant limbs of her children, was sent from her private apartments at Buckingham Palace to be kept at Osborne.  These remarkable objects were presented on crimson velvet cushions (in some cases marble slabs) and kept under glass domes to preserve the pristine whiteness of the marble.  They are another manifestation of the Queen's desire to capture fleeting likenesses and souvenirs of her children as they grew, whether by means of miniature portraits or jewellery fashioned out of milk teeth.  Although hands and feet are often the features that mothers remember of their babies, and firms exist even today to offer casts, Queen Victoria seems to have favoured marble replicas as providing the most faithful souvenirs.  The need to realise the limbs in marble is perhaps best explained by a passage in Balzac's Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu in which an elderly painter, Frenhofer, lectures the young Frans Pourbus: the mission of art, he declares, is not to copy nature but to explain it.  A plaster cast of the hand of one's mistress seems like 'a horrible cadaver, without the slightest resemblance'; it requires 'the chisel of a man who, without copying it exactly, can impart to it movement and life'.  Owing to the subconscious funerary association of white marble, many visitors to Osborne mistake the limbs for memorials of children who died in infancy, whereas all of Queen Victoria's nine children survived well into adulthood."

 Jonathan Marsden, from Victoria & Albert: Art & Love (Royal Collection Trust, 2010)

William Blake
Christ Appearing to the Apostles after the Resurrection
ca. 1795
watercolor
Tate Gallery

"In the final chapter of St. Luke's gospel, two angels announce that Christ has risen from the tomb.  Later, Christ himself appears to his disciples.  As Blake shows here, they are terrified, thinking that they are seeing a ghost.  Christ tries to reassure them by holding out his hands to show the wounds he received at the crucifixion, and saying 'Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.'"

 curator's notes from the Tate Gallery

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Group of partly-draped female figures, possibly the Fates from Turner's painting The Golden Bough
ca. 1834
oil on paper
Tate Gallery

"This unusual survival is in oils on what Finberg described as 'tracing paper'  it shows a carefully finished group of reclining women, among and partly covered by red and black draperies, trimmed to the edges of the figures.  Two on the left raise their arms in graceful gestures; the grouping to the right is less legible, with at least three reclining nudes, two of whom face each other while a third looks up to the right, again gesturing with her arm, albeit in this case truncated above the elbow.  Although close examination suggests five figures, the third and fourth are relatively inconspicuous, and John Gage has proposed that the group represents 'the Three Fates', which had been 'apparently drawn in a sketchbook in the life class of the Academy, cut out, and glued on the canvas' of Turner's mythological painting The Golden Bough [directly below], which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834.  This would account for the anecdote recounted by Gage, that when the painting was subsequently owned by Robert Vernon 'this paper began to peel, and the artist was called in to make a repair.  He removed the paper and kept it, repainting the group on the canvas . . . with only two figures facing away . . . and with no attributes to identify them'." 

 Tate Gallery, catalogue text by Matthew Imms (2016)

Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Golden Bough
ca. 1834
oil on canvas
Tate Gallery

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Group of partly draped female figures, perhaps the Three Graces
ca. 1830-40
oil on paper
Tate Gallery

"The subject of this unusual small-scale oil painting on 'tracing paper' is unclear, as is its purpose.  It was possibly used to try out a grouping of figures for a larger painting in process.  Compare Tate D36262 [the cut-out above], another small painting on paper of a group of elegant nudes; it has been proposed that the latter actually spent some years pasted onto a finished painting of The Golden Bough, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834."

 Tate Gallery, catalogue text by Matthew Imms (2016)

Frederic, Lord Leighton
Head of Fanny Kemble - study for Jezebel and Ahab
ca. 1862
drawing
Tate Gallery

"Leighton was the most eminent of all artists working during Queen Victoria's reign.  He trained in Germany and Paris.  One result of this training was the importance he attached to making preliminary drawings for any composition he painted in oils.  This drawing is a study for head of Elijah in Leighton's 1863 Royal Academy exhibit Jezebel and Ahab which is now in Scarborough Art Gallery.  The model was Leighton's friend the actress Fanny Kemble.  The use of a woman to pose for a male figure seems unusual, but the drawing would have been used by Leighton to set a male model when he stood for the figure of Elijah for the painting."

 curator's notes from the Tate Gallery

William Blake
The Simoniac Pope
ca. 1824-27
watercolor
Tate Gallery

"In Hell, Dante and Virgil meet those guilty of simony (buying or selling ecclesiastical preferment).  Like all simoniacs, Pope Nicholas III is punished by being suspended head downward in a well of fire."

 curator's notes from the Tate Gallery

Tom Phillip
Canto XXVIII from Dante's Inferno
1983
screenprint
Tate Gallery

attributed to George Richmond
Fettered Nude Figure reclining by a Rock
ca. 1825
drawing
Tate Gallery

John Hamilton Mortimer
Monstrous Male Figure, possibly Caliban
1770s
drawing
Tate Gallery

Edward Burne-Jones
Study for painting, The Call of Perseus
ca. 1877
drawing
Tate Gallery

James Barry
Study for painting, Philoctetes on the Island of Lemnos
1770
drawing
Tate Gallery

"Philoctetes was a Greek hero, celebrated for his stoic endurance of suffering.  A festering wound on his foot meant that he was left behind on the island of Lemnos while the Greek army continued its journey to Troy.  Barry based Philoctetes's body on a  celebrated fragment of classical sculpture, the Belvedere Torso.  But his notes in the corner of the drawing show a major problem facing history painters: how to suggest bodily pain without resorting to distortions of the face which would destroy the dignity of a heroic figure."

 curator's notes from the Tate Gallery

William Orpen
Anatomical Study, Male Torso
ca. 1906
drawing
Tate Gallery

James Thornhill
Sketch for Invitation Card to The Feast of St Luke
for The Virtuosi of St Luke 

1714
drawing
Tate Gallery

"James Thornhill was an eminent figure in the London art world.  In 1714 he replaced Kneller as the Governor of the Great Queen Street Artists' Academy.  Shortly after, he was made a member of the the Virtuosi of St. Luke, the most prestigious art club.  In 1714 Thornhill hosted the club's annual feast at his house in the Piazza, Covent Garden.  The ink sketch is a preliminary design for the invitation card.  A jovial centaur points to a canvas showing St. Luke, patron saint of artists, painting the Virgin and Child.  St. Paul's church, Covent Garden, appears in the background."

 curator's notes from the Tate Gallery