Showing posts from October, 2014

George Frederic Watts by Edward Steichen

   George Frederic Watts by Edward Steichen, Photogravure on japan paper, 1900, NPG   Background description from National Portrait Gallery, "In 1900, Watts was aged 83 and the doyen of the art world, having outlived most of his contemporaries. He is shown here, in a photogravure from the American publication Camera Work , as a venerable figure whose profile features are illuminated by a single light source, perhaps a window. The pictorial style draws attention to the painterly composition and chiaroscuro derived from old master portraiture. In this respect, Steichen’s image – one of two poses from the same sitting – evokes an elderly version of Watts’s ‘Venetian Senator’ self-portrait of c. 1853, although its immediate inspiration seems to be Watts’s profile self-portraits of 1879–80 (see ‘All known portraits’). It has also been argued that Steichen’s admiration for European Symbolist painting is reflected in the composition,  and doubtless such adm

My review of The Lost Pre-Raphaelite by Nigel Daly

When the author bought a falling down fortified house on the Staffordshire moorlands, he had no reason to anticipate the astonishing tale that would unfold as it was restored. A mysterious set of relationships emerged amongst its former owners, revolving round the almost forgotten artist, Robert Bateman, a prominent Pre-Raphaelite and friend of Burne Jones. He was to marry the granddaughter of the Earl of Carlisle, and to be associated with Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, and other prominent political and artistic figures.  But he had abandoned his life as an artist in mid-career to live as a recluse, and his rich and glamorous wife-to-be had married the local vicar, already in his sixties and shortly to die. The discovery of two clearly autobiographical paintings led to an utterly absorbing forensic investigation into Bateman's life. The story moves from Staffordshire to Lahore, to Canada, Wyoming, and then, via Buffalo Bill, to Peru and back to England. I

Early Review of The Poet Edgar Allan Poe: Alien Angel by Jerome J. McGann

The poetry of Edgar Allan Poe has had a rough ride in America, as Emerson’s sneering quip about “The Jingle Man” testifies. That these poems have never lacked a popular audience has been a persistent annoyance in academic and literary circles; that they attracted the admiration of innovative poetic masters in Europe and especially France—notably Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Valéry—has been further cause for embarrassment. Jerome McGann offers a bold reassessment of Poe’s achievement, arguing that he belongs with Whitman and Dickinson as a foundational American poet and cultural presence. Not all American commentators have agreed with Emerson’s dim view of Poe’s verse. For McGann, a notable exception is William Carlos Williams, who said that the American poetic imagination made its first appearance in Poe’s work. The Poet Edgar Allan Poe explains what Williams and European admirers saw in Poe, how they understood his poetics, and why his poetry had such a decisive influen

To Color or not To Color that is the question...or something along those lines!

Recently, I have seen online numerous 19th century albumen and vintage style photographs newly tinted or colorized in relation to various online projects usually media themed.  Sometimes, I enjoy looking at the colorized versions and sometimes not. I believe, to each his own but I am torn on this topic. Part of me believes you should not tamper with images of the past but with software programs and the medium of photography it has become ever so easy to let our imaginations run wild and our curiosity gets the best of us. So, I will leave it to the eye of the beholder... Here are two of my favorite artists whose images have recently been tinted into colorized versions!!   Alfred Lord Tennyson and Julia Margaret Cameron (nee Pattle). Alfred Tennyson - The Dirty Monk by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1865 Julia's son, Henry Herschel Hay Cameron's portrait of his mother, photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1870).  To read an intelligent viewpoint on Mrs. Cameron's co

A review of The Sharp Hook of Love by Sherry Jones

Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God. But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition. Paperback , 352 pages Expected publication: October 7th 2014 by Gallery Books ISBN 1451684797 (ISBN13: 9781451684797 )  "When I lifted my gaze so shyly to his face, did he behold the girl dancing inside me? Coul