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Art and Artists
 
 
Artists of the Regency
   

English painters of the Regency Period were among the greatest artists the world has seen. In portraits and landscapes, watercolour and oil, they excelled in portraying their world--accurately and honestly. They gave their period a unique look.

Here are two Regency painters whose names were new to me, although some of their work was not:

John Heaviside Clark (known as Waterloo Clark for his many illustrations of the battle)
The Day after Waterloo
Fountains Abbey
Whale Brought Alongside
Shooting the Harpoon
 
George Richmond (a late Regency artist, of many familiar portraits)
Swinburne and his sisters
A Self-portrait
Elizabeth Gaskell
A Wooded Landscape 1820s
Female artists of the Regency have been sadly neglected. I can only redress this balance in part as I can use only copyright-free versions of the women's art, and I can find few of them on the Internet. I hope you enjoy these art samples. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view...
Maria Cosway
Amelia Long,
Lady Farnborough
Julia Bennet, Lady Gordon
Marie-Denis Villers
The Hours
untitled
untitled
Young Woman Drawing
 
Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
Varvara Ivanovna Ladomirsky
Madame de Stael as Corinne
Self-Portrait 1800
The Genius of Alexander
Joseph Mallord William Turner
 
Crossing the Brook
The Fighting Temeraire
The Sun of Venice
Dido Building Carthage
   
Thomas Lawrence
 
Lady Robinson
Countess of Blessington
Thomas Moore
Charles William Bell
   
John Constable
 
Flatford Mill
Boatbuilding near Flatford Mill
The Cornfield
The Haywain
   
Henry Raeburn
David Wilkie
John Johnstone of Alva...
The Drummond Children
Pitlessie Fair 1804
The Penny Wedding
   
William Westall
Richard Parkes Bonington
Newstead Abbey
Hampton Court Palace
Park of Versailles
Venice
   
Thomas Rowlandson
Innyard
WoolpackInn, Hungerford
Coffeehouse
Covent Garden Market
   
   
Regency Silhouettes & Woodcuts
   
Silhouettes gained their name from Etienne de Silhouette who lived from 1709-67 in France
and enjoyed a hobby of cutting profiles from black paper. Silhouettes, often known as shades, or shadow-portraits, were most popular between 1770-1860. Their history can be traced to prehistoric times, and the 'black figure' vases of Greek antiquity. Some woodcuts appear very like silhouettes and it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.
 
     
Shades could be created by amateurs, but their popularity caused professional artists to take up the form.
The finest shades were often painted in indian ink or pine soot on card or plaster or painted on porcelain, rather than cut from paper. Cut shades might be created from black paper, or hollow-cut, that is, traced on white paper, the face cut out and the hollow profile put on a sheet of black paper. The shades might be obtained from a shadow traced on a transparent sheet or copied free hand from a sitter. They might be cut without first being drawn; this required great skill.
Two charming modern versions of period shades
Mr. G. Cade and Mr. R. J. Potter
These two silhouettes are from my husband's family,
both very well executed with details in pencil and ink.
They are undated but appear to be 1820's.
   
Modern Illustrators of the Regency Period
Click on the thumbnails for a larger view...
Arthur Barbosa
 
Arthur Barbosa was the cover artist Georgette Heyer most trusted. He had an inimitable vision of the Regency world. Yet his book illustration was the least favourite of his work--even as it was the most constant throughout his careers in art, theatre design, and interior decoration.

Barbosa was born in 1908 and died in 1995. He was the quintessential British gentleman, was wed three times, and counted Rex Harrison, Cecil Beaton and Laurence Olivier among his friends.

His Regency world has profoundly influenced my own perception of the years from 1810-1820. I'd like to share his art with you as a tribute to his genius.
Book Covers
Eighteen Fifteen
by John Fisher
A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer
The Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
Georgette Heyer's Regency England
The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer
 
The black and white drawings below are taken from the book "Georgette Heyer's Regency England" by Teresa Chris, published in 1989 by Sidgwick & Jackson, London
People
 
A riding habit
A dandy
A debutante
A driving gentleman
 
A highwayman
Places
 
Boodles Club
Brighton Pavilion
Steyne Fountain
St. James, London
 
Dueling pistols
Transportation
Pedestrian curricle
Curricle
High-perch phaeton
Coach and four
Phaeton
Balloon
   
 
Kate Greenaway

Kate Greenaway, 1846-1901, was one of the most famous illustrators of the 19th century. She was the daughter of an artist-engraver, and studied at the South Kensington and Slade art schools. She began illustrating books in 1877. She worked in watercolour, and as well as illustrating she exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Greenaway was not illustrating the Regency as such. She was creating her own personal world, and it happened that clothing in that world closely resembled Regency fashion. Her world rebelled against the heavy fabrics, elaborate designs and tight corsetting of the late 1800s just as Regency fashion rebelled against the heavy fabrics, elaborate designs and tight corsetting of the late 1700s.

Her work is particularly gentle and delightful, and I think gives us a unique insight into the world of children and very young ladies of our Regency period.

           
 
Charles E. Brock

C. E. Brock was a well known illustrator in his day. He was born in 1870 and died in 1938 and was an artist with virtually no formal training. He had three younger brothers who were also artists. His preferred work was book illustration with a particular bias towards early Victorian authors -- Thackeray, Gaskell and Eliot among them. His illustrations of Jane Austen's books are a true delight, and I can only regret that I just recently discovered them.

His work was described as "sensitive to the delicate, teacup-and-saucer primness and feminine outlook of the early Victorian novelists" while "equally appreciate of the healthy, boisterous, thoroughly English characters of the Regency Bucks, of serving men, the County folk and the horsey types". To read more about Charles Brock, look for: The Art of the Illustrator: C. E. Brock and His Work, P. Bradshaw (no date pre 1938)

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Emma
Pride and Prejudice
Sense & Sensibility
 
 
Hugh Thomson

Thomson was born in Ireland in 1860 but moved to London in 1883. His greatest popularity came in England after 1900. He died in 1920.

He illustrated popular works of fiction such as Silas Marner and The Pickwick papers and many of the Highways and byways series of guidebooks to England's counties.

Read more about Hugh Thomson in Hugh Thomson: His Art, His Letters, His Humour and His Charm
Book by M. H. Spielmann, Walter Jerrold; A. & C. Black, 1931. 269 pgs.

"HERE at length is set before you the Life of Hugh Thomson.
You have in it a book that deals with the life of an artist, a man
of strong character and high principle, delicate in his happy
humour and gentle in his kindness, and withal in heart and in
demeanour modest."

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
 
 
Joan Hassall

I only very recently discovered the work of Joan Hassall, and I am delighted to have found her. She was born in London in 1906, and studied at the Royal Academy Schools. She illustrated works by Jane Austen, Trollope, Mrs Gaskell and Mary Russell Mitford among others. "She made around 1500 prints and her works displayed skilled draughtsmanship, together with a delicate sensibility and a sound historical knowledge."

Read more in:
The Wood engravings of Joan Hassall, Oxford University Press, London 1960

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
Persuasion
 
 
John Goodall

John Strickland Goodall, 1908-1996, always knew he would be an artist. He attended the Royal Academy schools, and worked in oils and pen-and-ink, before settling on watercolour in the early 1940's.

His career encompassed magazine and book illustration, advertising and portraits, but it is for his own wordless picture books that he is best known. These small books began to be published in the 1960's; many of them were children's books. However the ones I love best illustrate Victorian and Edwardian themes such as "Victorians Abroad" and "Edwardian Christmas". My other favourites include "The Story of a Village" and "The Story of a High Street". The illustrations below are taken from "The Story of a Country House". The Regency Period is covered only briefly in this book, but these few illustrations capture perfectly the elegance and leisure of the age.

Leaving for a Carriage Ride
Playing at Cards
Artwork in the Library
Belowstairs