Thursday, April 9, 2020

John Melhuish Strudwick, Disciple of Burne-Jones

John Melhuish Strudwick (1849-1937) seems to be classified as a Pre-Raphaelite, though that's not strictly so. He was born about the time the Brotherhood was formed, and therefore was never a member and was of the following generation. I think a fair label would be "Victorian."

Strudwick was greatly influenced by Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), for whom he was an assistant for a while. It seems that he painted slowly, so his production was not large. Contributing to this was that his sponsors dropped him in the early 1900s and he essentially gave up painting for the next 30 years of his life. This is noted here and here.

Apparently he had salted enough money aside so as to exist without sales of paintings. I wish I knew more about his curious circumstances.

As for his art, it is well-crafted in the Burne-Jones manner.


A Golden Thread - c.1885

Circe and Scylla - c.1886


'Oh, swallow, swallow' - 1894

Saint Cecilia - c.1896

Virgin and Child - 1901

When Apples Were Golden and Songs Were Sweet but Summer Had Passed Away - c.1906

In the Golden Days - 1907

Monday, April 6, 2020

Robert Weber, New Yorker Cartoonist

Robert Maxwell Weber (1924-2016) was a New Yorker magazine cartoonist for many years, though his professional career began as a fashion illustrator -- unusual for a cartoonist. He probably didn't realize at the time what a wise career move that was, because fashion illustration began to give way to photography in the 1960s whereas the New Yorker continues to feature cartoons.

For more information on Weber you might link here and here.

Weber's style was sketchy, and done often using charcoal sometimes supported by wash. I suppose he might be rated as an above-average New Yorker cartoonist (its cartoons were well above the general average). But he did not achieve the fame of members of the previous New Yorker generation such as Charles Addams and Peter Arno.


"In a way I am kind of famous.  But you've probably never heard of me unless you happen to travel in actuarial circles."
I happen to be a demographer, a distant cousin of actuarial work. Makes me wonder how famous I am.

"These projected figures are a figment of our imagination.  We hope you like them."
As the author of a book on population forecasting, this cartoon also hits home.

"You've been very bad, so we're sending you back to New York."
Oh so true.

"Billy is turning out to be quite the little artist."

"Do you mind if I say something helpful about your personality?"

"I'm back.  The Brie's not ripe."

Thursday, April 2, 2020

John Hubbard Rich, Not Quite a California Impressionist

The image above is "The Idle Hour" (1917) by John Hubbard Rich (1876-1954), painted about three years after he moved from the Northeast to Los Angeles. I like it very much.

Rich's tiny Wikipedia entry is here. Although his work was done in a painterly style in the spirit of the contemporary California Impressionists, I didn't notice any of his works on the Internet that were the kind of landscapes that group painted. Indeed, Rich's visible works are almost entirely portraits and indoor scenes.


Lady with Teacup
I don't have a date for this, but from the style and subject matter, it looks like it was painted in Boston before Rich moved to California.

Woman in Blue Gown
The same might be said for this painting.

Now for for some California paintings.

Elizabeth Josephine Harris - 1918
In the same spirit (and apparently the same clothes and fan) as the painting atop this post.

The Japanese Lantern - 1916
Another Oriental sort of theme.

Portrait of a woman
I don't have a date for this.

Yellow Teapot, or Daydreams - c.1929
Domestic scene with a touch of landscape outside the window.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Algernon Cecil Newton, Land - and City-Scape Painter

Algernon Cecil Newton (1880-1968) had an unusual art pedigree, as this mentions: "Newton was born in Hampstead in 1880, a grandson of Henry Newton, one of the founders of the Winsor & Newton the art materials company."

His style was remarkably consistent over most of his career. And his subject matter was limited. Newton tended to paint sparse urban scenes that included a good deal of countryside-like vegetation along with water features such as canals.

His style was simplified, either due to a slight acknowledgement of fashionable 1920s and 30s Modernism or perhaps a throwback to 18th century art.


The Beck - c.1900
An early, pure landscape.

In Kensington - 1920-23
Buy now, he has settled into his mature style. The composition's stark, simple areas reminds me of what de Chirico was doing at about the same time, but with different settings and artistic intent.

The Backs of Houses, Harley Street, London - 1925
A purely urban scene.

The Regent's Canal, Twilight - 1925

The Regent's Park Canal, Paddington - 1930

Townscape - 1934

Minster Court, York - 1945

Canal Scene, Maida Vale - 1947
Newton was known as a painter of canals.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Jan Sluijters, Dutch Modernist

Johannes Carolus Bernardus (Jan) Sluijters (1881-1957) was a Dutch painter who delved into various Modernist styles, yet never abandoned representation or practiced abstraction (as best I can tell regarding the latter). A brief Wikipedia entry is here, but from there you can link to a longer one in Dutch.

Due to his apparent continual experimentation, there seems to be little in the way of a distinctive Sluijters style.


Spaanse danseres - 1906
A Spanish dancer.

Cafe de nuit (Bal Tabarin) - 1906
He spent some time in Paris.

Boslaantje - c.1909
Fauvist influence here.

Greet with a Bicycle
Post-impressionist background.

The Artist's Wife (Greet) - c.1910

Vrouwenportret in rood - 1912
Portrait of a lady in red.

Staphorst - 1915
Expressionist townscape.

Gertrud Leistikow Dancing - c.1920

Zelfportret op 22-jarige leeftijd
Self-portrait, age 22.  His earliest works tended to be in traditional style.

Zelfportret - 1924
Apparently the effect of 20 years' hard work in his studio.

Charlotte Erika Frankfurter-Brandt - 1936
This verges on pure representation, though there is a whiff of 1930s modernist simplification.

Moonlight-Night View on Montreux with the Chateau de Chilloin - 1954
A late work, still somewhat Modernist.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Victor Hume Moody: Some Dramatic Portraits

Victor Hume Moody (1896-1990) lived a long life that in his working years was dominated by the Modernism that he didn't practice.

He is obscure enough that at the time I drafted this post, he had no Wikipedia entry. The main background information I found is here. Additionally, it seems he abandoned painting from about 1919 to 1926. He painted using laborious, classical methods for the remainder of his career.

Moody exhibited a dramatic flair in many of his works, though not always. Below are examples of each. Since some images are undated, I can't order the paintings chronologically.


Miss Willoughby
A striking portrait.

Girl with a Cittern - Portrait of Catherine Moody,
His daughter.

Self Portrait
Perhaps painted about the same time as the image below,

The Artist’s Wife, May Olive Moody - 1926-27

Portrait of a Lady
A softer, less-dramatic portrait.

Portrait sketch of woman

The Day War Broke Out, Mom - 1939

Presentation of Colours to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 1960
This for a commemorative commission. No drama, but appropriate for that genre.