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Posts Tagged ‘Artists’

At the time of the construction of this terrace it was still relatively on the edge of town, overlooking the playing fields of St Paul’s School. The site was also close to the marshy Thameside village of Hammersmith and close to the part of the Fulham distinguished by the residency of Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) in the Grange, North End Road, since demolished. St. Paul’s Studios were built besides a previous large studio-house containing a number of studios, built in 1885 for Sir Coutts Lindsay Bt (1824-1913) founder of the Grosvenor Gallery. Used by a number of a 19th century painters it is interesting to note that Edward Burne-Jones worked on Arthur at Avalon in this studio in 1897-8.

Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon

Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon

Immersed in his work, Burne-Jones identified himself with Arthur and even adopted Arthur’s pose when he himself slept. By 1885, four years into his work the association with Arthur reached the point where Burne-Jones had to ask his patron George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle to cancel or revise his original commission, replacing the grand scene with a smaller painting focused on the departed king. Howard agreed to cancellation and never requested his downpayment back. Nevertheless, Burne-Jones returned to the original grand painting, and worked on it for the remaining thirteen years of his life. The studio was also occupied by his son Philip and in 1912-14 Frank Brangwyn R.A. (1867-1956) used them while working on a large-scale project. Brangwyn himself lived close by in Hammersmith, on Queen Caroline Street.

At the same time as the St. Paul’s Studios were constructed in 1891, C.F.A.Voysey – possibly the finest Arts & Crafts designer and architect – designed an interesting studio house, built just around the corner at 17 St. Dunstan’s Road, for W.E.F.Brittan (1848-1816) the decorative painter.

Studio House in St Dunstan's Road

Studio House in St Dunstan's Road

There are other late nineteenth century studio-houses in Margrave Road and Avonmore Road showing off the artistic activity in this area in the early 20th century.  One of note is the Fulham Glass House, 1906, a workshop and studios for stained glass design, built on Lettice Street off the Fulham Road, for Lowndes and Drury with whom Christopher Whall was closely associated – he himself living in Ravenscourt Park.

The Fall of Man

The Fall of Man

The series of window installed by Whall in the Lady Chapel, part of Cloucester Cathedral, between 1899 and 1913 is widely acknowledged to be the finest glass of the period in England.

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Nearly all the occupants of St. Paul’s Studios, up until the First World War at least, are identifiably professional artists. Here some others that I came across living and working in the Studios:

  • William Logsdail (1859-1944) genre painter particularly of London scenes,
  • Edward Tennyson-Reed (1860-1933), Punch cartoonist from 1893,
  • Charles Sims R.A. (1873-1928) painter and illustrator and Keeper of the R.A. from 1920-1926, and
  • Otto Scholderer (1834-1902) a German born painter of still life and friend of Manet and Fantin-Latour.

And here samples of their work:

William Logsdail's St Martin-in-the Fields, Oil on canvas, 1888

William Logsdail's St Martin-in-the Fields

Edward Tennyson-Reed's In Vain You Argue or Protest

Edward Tennyson-Reed's In Vain You Argue or Protest

Clarles Sims' Night Piece to Julia

Charles Sims' Night Piece to Julia

Otto Scholderer's Violin Player at the Window

Otto Scholderer's Violin Player at the Window

And now please do vote for your favourite St. Paul’s Studios artist in our poll.

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The following is my first guest column, written by our friend Peter Risdon, an expert and an ardent fan of Alfred Wolmark.

Alfred Wolmark Self-Portrait

Alfred Wolmark Self-Portrait

Alfred Wolmark came to England as a child in the 1880s, when his parents fled Poland. He early developed skill at drawing and after studying at the Royal Academy School he became a full-time painter. His early works reflected his parents’ Jewish circle, but after 1910 he took inspiration from the French avant-garde Fauves and painted many works in strong, imaginative colours, with less concern for exact drawing.

Wolmark was one of the pioneers of Modernist art in Britain, and before the First World War he was a close friend of the French sculptor Gaudier-Brzeska (of whom he painted remarkable portraits), and of Jacob Epstein, mixed with the members of Sickert’s London Group. Between 1910 and 1935 he achieved his full potential as a creative artist, and he was active in many fields other than painting, such as stage design, ceramics, posters and sculpture. He designed a huge stained glass window for St Mary’s church at Slough, which can still be seen.

He took his subjects from the whole range of portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, and nudes both mythological and profane. Portrait sketches were a feature of his work and many important cultural figures sat for him, such as Thomas Hardy, Somerset Maugham, and Aldous Huxley.

Wolmark travelled widely within Britain, to Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Devon, and in Europe to Paris and Switzerland, where he painted numerous mountain scenes. Further afield, in 1919 he went to New York where he painted several skyscraper views, and in 1927 to Tunis where he painted the local people.

He lived in London, except for a few years during the Second World War when he and his family sought safety in Oxfordshire. He moved to St Paul’s Studios at the end of the war and settled into his last home there.

Never a member of a prominent artistic group, he preferred to mix socially with other artists with progressive views and to plough his own furrow throughout a long and productive life of over 80 years until his death in 1961. His works can be seen in public collections such as the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Birmingham City Art Gallery. In his lifetime he exhibited widely in Britain and Europe, and a large exhibition was shown at the Ben Uri Gallery, London, and the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull in 2004 (here a link to the Exhibition Announcement).

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Young Lady in a Blue Bonnett, oil painting on canvas

Young Lady in a Blue Bonnett, oil painting on canvas

Here is another artist working from St Paul’s Studios (I do not know which one yet). Apprenticed to a lithographic draughtsman he studied in the evenings, later for a year at the Acadamie Julien in Paris (his allowance was one Pound a week).  He worked also briefly in Belfast.

Barribal created such memorable images as posters for the Schweppes advertising campaign and the Waddingtons playing cards series, which are avidly collected today. He is also well-known for the bold Art Deco posters designed in 1920s and 1930s for the London North Eastern Railway.

Barribal also worked for various magazines, including the fashion champion Vogue, and between 1919 and 1938 regularly exhibited his work.

Interestingly, after he married his wife became his only model and inspiration, appearing on picture postcards, almanacs, calendars and pages of leading weeklies.

I'm thinking of you Postcard

I'm thinking of you Postcard

His images of exquisite and fashionable Edwardian women have become classics and the work of many a modern fashion artist shows traces of the unmistakable “Barribal style”.

I assume that both painting and postcard show the mysterious Ms Barribal, another form resident.

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