#FridayPainting: Aubrey Beardsley “Arthur and the Strange Mantle”

“People hate to see their vices depicted, but vice is terrible and it should be depicted.”

Aubrey Beardsley

The year was 1893. The Studio, a new illustrated magazine of fine and applied art, published its first issue featuring a daring illustration for Oscar Wilde’s scandalous play, Salome. The Irish playwright inspired a young English artist, Aubrey Beardsley, to create a stunning femme fatale in black ink and graphite on paper. Provocative! Beardsley made a name for himself that day. Some say that this was the first work of Art Nouveau.

Photo of Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898) for Le Morte d'Arthur,
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898) for Le Morte d’Arthur, J. M. Dent &Co._Year: 1893., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Aubrey Beardsley was a gifted artist and musician. He did not have an easy life; he endured significant health issues, beginning at age 9 with an attack of tuberculosis. He persevered, despite all odds. In grammar school, he drew caricatures of his teachers and illustrated the school’s journal, Past to Present. Sir Edward Burne-Jones, artist, designer and an associate of William Morris, mentored Aubrey Beardsley, encouraging him to take evening classes at the Westminster School of Art. (Evening classes do pay off!) His work was noticed. Soon Aubrey Beardsley was illustrating Sir Thomas Malory’s, Le Morte d’Arthur. And not just one or two illustrations – but over three hundred!!

#FridayPainting: Henri Lucien Doucet “Le Soir au Chateau”

Le Soir au Chateau!

Henri Lucien Doucet (1856 – 1895) was known for piquant, sparkling representations of modern life, eminently Parisian in style, which comes through in this heartwarming scene.

Painting by Henri Lucien Doucet Le Soir au Chateau 1890
Le Soir au Chateau, 1890 (colour litho) Henri Lucien Doucet, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There is sense of belonging in the casual poses and seating arrangement of men and women. The interior and exterior merge with the wide expanse of an open window. I envision the soft voices and laughter coming across the canvas.

Henri Lucien Doucet painted in oils and pastels and his subjects varied from historical scenes and portraits but he is best known for his genre scenes. . He was known to be confrontational. Perhaps his audacious nature brought him the success, fame and awards he enjoyed from an young age.

#FridayPainting: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec “In the Salon of the Rue des Moulins”

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec “In the Salon of the Rue des Moulins” 1894 (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is among the best-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period, along with Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Georges Seurat.

When I view Henri’s paintings, I recognize his ability to capture people in ordinary surroundings. There is an intimacy in his portrayal, an understanding of their hopes and dreams, without the façade of glamour or adventure. In so doing, he gives us the extraordinary of a moment in time that speaks to our hearts.

When I view “In the Salon of the Rue de Moulins,” I am standing behind Henri as he applies paint in long, thin brushstrokes.

What I did not know until recently was that Henri was known for his excellent cooking. Over time, he brought together a collection of his favourite recipes that his friend and dealer, Maurice Joyant published, after Henri’s death, as L’Art de la Cuisine.

I have tried to do what is true and not ideal.”

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

#Friday Painting: Joseph Mallory William Turner, “The Grand Canal – Venice”


It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create.”

J.M.W. Turner

Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Saluteca. 1835

Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute ca. 1835 (Public Domain)

I don’t paint so that people will understand me, I paint to show what a particular scene looks like.”

J.M.W. Turner

Turner drew on his considerable experience as a marine painter and the brilliance of his technique as a watercolorist to create this view, in which the foundations of the palaces of Venice merge into the waters of the lagoon by means of delicate reflections. He based the composition on a rather slight pencil drawing made during his first trip to Venice, in 1819, but the painting is really the outcome of his second visit, in 1833. He exhibited this canvas to wide acclaim at the Royal Academy, London, in 1835.” The Met


I know of no genius but the genius of hard work.”

J.M.W. Turner

#FridayPainting: Thomas Cooper Gotch “The Child Enthroned”

Thomas Cooper Gotch aka T.C. Gotch, English painter and book illustrator, was linked to the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

The romantic style of the Pre-Raphaelites is clearly portrayed in Thomas Gotch’s painting “The Child Enthroned”.

Thomas Cooper Gotch – The Child Enthroned 1894. (Photographical reproduction, Public Domain)

Born on December 10, 1854 in Kettering, Northamptonshire, Thomas was the fourth son of a shoemaker. Happily, his parents provided the encouragement and financial support to jump-start his artistic journey. He attended the finest art schools: 1876-1877, Heatherley’s art school in London, 1877-1878 and Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp. In 1879, at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, Thomas met his wife Caroline Yates.

Thomas and Caroline studied in Paris during the early 1880’s until they moved, in 1887, to Newlyn, a fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall. They joined the Newlyn art colony which was similar to the Barbizon School in France, where artists traveled from Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasizing natural light.

I understand that Thomas used his daughter, Phyllis, as a sitter for “The Child Enthroned.” There was an earlier painting entitled, “My Crown and Sceptre” which was completed in 1892.

“The Child Enthroned,” which is considered his master work, was completed two years later.

Thomas Gotch’s, “Alleluia” can be viewed at the Tate Gallery.

#FridayPainting: Home and the Homeless by Thomas Faed

Home and the Homeless by Thomas Faed National Galleries Scotland

Thomas Faed and his brothers, John and James, made a substantial contribution to Scottish painting through their scenes from Scottish history and contemporary domestic life. Their sister Susan Bell Faed (1827-1909) was also a painter and was often used as a model by her brothers. The circulation of prints made after the brothers’ paintings increased their popularity. Thomas’ work, with its strong narrative content inspired by Wilkie, brought him international renown. The brothers, originally from Gatehouse-of-Fleet, Kirkcudbright, trained in Edinburgh at the Trustees’ Academy, where Thomas won the life-class prize in 1847. Following his paintings’ success at the Royal Academy, Thomas moved to London in 1851. Among his patrons was the philanthropic baroness, Angela Burdett-Coutts, one of the wealthiest heiresses in Britain. National Galleries Scotland

Home and the Homeless by Thomas Faed