Friday, September 24, 2010

'PRIME MINISTER'




Self Portrait
Oil on canvas, 1913-1914
National Portrait Gallery, London.
Retrieved from Tate gallery
From en.wikipedia.org


Robert Polhill Bevan, c.1915
Author Colourman (talk)
From en.wikipedia.org
Robert Polhill Bevan (5 August 1865 – 8 July 1925) was the world's most reluctant modernist. Having painted alongside Gaugin at Pont Aven and been a founder member of the Camden Town group, his avant-garde credentials were impeccable.
He was perhaps the most accomplished equestrian painter since Stubbs, and had a studio overlooking Cumberland Market, historically the heart of London's horse-trading activity. Unfortunately, his obsession coincided with horses becoming obsolete technology. While contemporaries were painting angular homage to the machine age, Bevan's meticulous views of Hansom cabs, horse fairs and the like began to seem somewhat quaint.
Bevan's Edwardian nostalgia never recovered from the interruption of the First World War, but he was an accomplished and progressive painter in his own modest way. His images of London's declining horse fairs show the world of Stubbs reframed by Degas and given Sickert's sickly pall.
(guardian.co.uk)
His first teacher of drawing was Arthur Ernest Pearce, who later became head designer to Royal Doulton potteries. In 1888 he studied art under Fred Brown at the Westminster School of Art before moving to the Académie Julian in Paris. Amongst his fellow students were Paul Sérusier, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis.
(en.wikipedia.org)
In 1890–91, having encountered Paul Sérusier at the Académie Julian in Paris, he made his first visit to Brittany, where he worked with the Pont-Aven group; he also developed an interest in lithography. After contact with Renoir, Bevan made a second visit to Brittany in 1893–4, when he met and was influenced by Gauguin. From the early 1900s Bevan adopted a divisionist or pointillist style in paintings that often depicted London street scenes and horse trading.
(tate.org.uk)


Mare and Foal
Author Colourman (talk)
From en.wikipedia.org


In the summer of 1897 Bevan attended the wedding, in Jersey, of his friend Eric Forbes Robertson who was marrying an art student from Poland. The bridesmaid was also a Polish art student, Stanislawa de Karlowska. It was apparently love at first sight but because of language difficulties they had to communicate in French which was their only common language. Many were the letters Bevan wrote her and then he journeyed into the depths of Polish countryside to her father’s house. They were married in Warsaw 9 December 1897.
The Bevans set up home near Swiss Cottage in London but made regular visits between 1899 and 1904 to Poland where he painted landscapes and horses. An exhibition of his work in 1908 at the first Allied Artists’ Exhibition broke his isolation as an artist and he became part of the circle of the Fitzroy Street Group and an original member of the Camden Town Group, the London Group and the Cumberland Market Group.
(blackdown-hills.net)


Houses in Sunlight, 1915
From hh-h.com


The Feathered Hat, 1915
Transferred from en.wikipedia
Ttransferred to Commons by User:Off2riorob
Original uploader was Colourman at en.wikipedia


The Artist's Son, c. 1918
Transferred from en.wikipedia
Ttransferred to Commons by User:Off2riorob
Original uploader was Colourman at en.wikipedia


The Cab Yard Evening, 1919
From screentweet.com


The subject matter of cab-yards, mews and horse sales in London was suggested to Bevan by Sickert and was in keeping with the tenets of the Camden Town Group. This painting (above), of c. 1919, shows how Bevan's mature technique had developed into an angular style in which colour fused into broad masses of a subdued and subtle tone.
(Information derived from the Ashmolean Museum's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings)


Sale at Ward's Repository, 1919
From hh-h.com


Showing at Tattersalls, 1919
Presented by R.A. Bevan, the artist's son, 1957
2006 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum
From ashmolean.org


Bevan’s first visit to Applehayes, with his wife, was in the summer of 1912. They returned in 1913 and 1915. Due to the war Squire Harrison found it impossible to continue offering hospitality to his artist friends. Bevan had taken a special liking to the Blackdown Hills and from 1916 to 1919 he rented a cottage called Lytchetts in the Bolham Water Valley, Clayhidon. He would stay there from early May to the middle of November for a long working holiday. His wife and children, Robert and his sister (later Mrs. Charles Baty), would visit him during the school holidays. At intervals, particularly during the winter months he would travel with his family to Poland to visit relatives. On one such trip whilst drawing at Opatow he was apprehended by Russian Police for alleged spying (the second time this happened was whilst drawing in Camden Town).
Lytchetts was owned by the Chard family, who lived at Harts Farm. Anne Chard remembers Bevan from her childhood recalling he was of a shy retiring disposition and not easy to communicate with. However she, her brother and sisters frequently saw him. A solitary gentleman tramping miles across the Blackdowns carrying either a sketch book and pencils or paints and easel tucked under his arm. Anne could remember Bevan’s look of pleased amusement when turning suddenly from the easel he encountered a child gazing in wonder at the remarkable likeness on canvas of two dearly loved shire horses, Prince and Farmer. On another occasion the Chard children having been asked to collect Prince from the common decided to mount and play at hunting on the way home. Three young children hanging on for dear life, trotting along a narrow lane met the tall familiar figure and gaily called out "Good afternoon, Mr. Bevan". The artist lifted his bowler hat in acknowledgement and stopped dead in his tracks gazing incredulously at the spectacle before him. He was dressed in a light grey check suit with a watch-chain across his waistcoat. A bow tie and spats added to the elegance of his appearance. One of his nicknames in London was "Prime Minister" because of his bearing and attire.
(blackdown-hills.net)


Devon Cottage (Luppitt), ca.1920
Transferred from en.wikipedia
Original uploader was Colourman at en.wikipedia


Mount Stephen, 1924
Transferred from en.wikipedia
Ttransferred to Commons by User:Off2riorob
Original uploader was Colourman at en.wikipedia


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