1.5.2.1 Arts and Crafts (1868-1910)

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QUICK LINKS:
Beguiling of Merlin, Burne-Jones
Birth of Pegasus and Chrysaor, Burne-Jones
King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid, Burne-Jones
Oh! Willo! Willo! Willo!, Armfield
The Sleeping Beauty, Southall
Bacchus and Ariadne, Southall

The birth of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain in the late 19th century marked the beginning of a change in the value society placed on how things were made. This was a reaction to not only the damaging effects of industrialisation but also the relatively low status of the decorative arts. Arts and Crafts reformed the design and manufacture of everything from buildings to jewellery.

[Source: vam.ac.uk]

[1521-10]


Image source: wikimedia commons
The painting depicts a scene from the Arthurian legend about the infatuation of Merlin with the Lady of the Lake, Nimue. Merlin is shown trapped, helpless in a hawthorn bush as Nimue reads from a book of spells.

The work was commissioned from Burne-Jones by Frederick Richards Leyland, a Liverpool ship-owner and art-collector, in the late 1860s. After a false start blamed on ‘poor materials’, Burne-Jones began work on the painting proper in 1873, finishing the body of the work by the end of 1874; however, the painting was not first exhibited until 1877 at the opening exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery in London.

Burne-Jones used Maria Zambaco, who was probably his mistress from 1866 to 1872, for the model for the head of Nimue.

The Beguiling of Merlin was purchased by Lord Leverhulme in 1918 and remains in the Lady Lever Art Gallery to the present day.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Beguiling of Merlin, The1872-7Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley1833-1898, aged 62English painterArts and Crafts
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1521-11]

Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Merseyside186 x 111  
Perseus eventually discovers Medusa with her sisters, the Gorgons. Unlike her they are all immortal. Using Athena’s mirror to defend himself, Perseus beheads Medusa, at which point the winged horse Pegasus and the warrior Chrysaor spring from her decapitated body. When the Gorgons attempt to punish Perseus for killing their sister, he evades them by using the helmet given to him by the sea nymphs, thus becoming invisible.
[Source: tate.org.uk]

Image source: wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
The Birth of Pegasus and Chrysaor from the Blood of Medusa1876-1885Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley1833-1898, aged 62English painterArts and Crafts
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1521-12]

Southampton City Art Gallery0  

Image source: tate.org.uk
This work was based on Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘The Beggar Maid’.

King Cophetua of Ethiopia falls in love with Penelophon, a young woman he sees begging for money. They marry, and she becomes Queen.

This work was considered Burne-Jones’s greatest achievement. Critics praised it for its technical skill and for the message that love is more important than wealth and power. Through this painting and its reproduction as a print, Burne-Jones became seen in Europe as the most important symbolist painter of his generation.
[Source: tate.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid1884Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley1833-1898, aged 62English painterArts and Crafts
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1521-13]

Tate Galleries, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG UK293 x 136  
The title relates to the late sixteenth or early seventeenth-century song of lost love, ‘Willow Song’, by an anonymous composer and used, with alterations, by Shakespeare in Othello.
[Source: tate.org.uk]
Image source: tate.org.uk
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Oh! Willo! Willo! Willo!1902Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Armfield, Maxwelll Ashby1881-1972, aged 90English painterArts and Crafts
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1521-14]

Tate Galleries, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG UK45 x 29  

Image source: birminghammuseums.org.uk
Southall was an English painter associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. A leading figure in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century revival of painting in tempera, Southall was the leader of the Birmingham Group of Artist-Craftsmen, one of the last outposts of Romanticism in the visual arts, and an important link between the later Pre-Raphaelites and the turn of the century Slade Symbolists.

A lifelong Quaker, Southall was an active socialist and pacifist, initially as a radical member of the Liberal Party and later of the Independent Labour Party.

Conjouring up dreams of a lazy day, this is a vibrant but serene artwork. Maud Leather, the foremost figure, was one of the three professional artists models who regularly worked for Southall. Miss Davidson, the central figure, is known to have sat for Southall between 1928-34. Mrs Lemon, on the left, was another model who sat for Southall around the same time.
[Source: birminghammuseums.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Sleeping Beauty, The1903Tempera on MillboardHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Southall, Joseph1861-1944, aged 83English painterArts and Crafts
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1521-15]

Birmingham Museum178 x 127  
Southall’s tempera technique and flat decorative style give a curiously ‘frozen’ quality to all his work, but the effect is particularly striking here where the subject is one of passionate eroticism. There are a number of other typical features: the somewhat awkward anatomy, the striped patterns on the draperies, the ‘chorus’ figures at the upper right, and the white rabbits lower left’.
[Source: thelastromantics.com]

Image source: lissllewellyn.com
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Bacchus and Ariadne1912Watercolour/Pencil/CardHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Southall, Joseph1861-1944, aged 83English painterArts and Crafts
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):  
Mobile18 x 24  

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