Sometimes memories from the past present themselves simply from the scribbles made on a sheet of notebook paper. Today I found such a note that was so old that it had started turning yellow with age. It suddenly fell out of the pages of one of my art books called “Victorian Painters” written by Jeremy Maas, who was a dealer specializing in English painting when his book published back in 1969. Each one of these paintings still fascinate me as I flip through this book again finding Litter of Puppies by Sir Edwin Landseer who was a famous animal painter in 1838 and always painted those large white and black dogs referred to as “Landseer-dogs”. His painting Dignity and Impudence of a blood-hound called Grafton exhibited in 1839 has realistic qualities that are quite appealing not only because of the large dog, but the smaller doggie next to Grafton in the doghouse.
On the cover of this book is a painting of a girl sleeping in an orange dress. The full-page plate shown inside describes this Neo-Classical painting as done by Lord Frederic Leighton. It’s called “Flaming June” and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1895, a year before the artist’s death in 1896. There are many more great paintings to discover in this 256-page book. I’m grateful I have a copy in my home library and continue to trace the era for Victorian painting. And according to the price marked in the book, I got it for a bargain: $1.99 as-is.
Written by Mary Gilmartin, January 22, 2014