Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ENGLISH LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT AND GENRE PAINTER



William Logsdail (25 May 1859 - 3 September 1944) was a prolific English landscape, portrait, and genre painter. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists, the Grosvenor Gallery, the New Gallery (London), and others. He is notable for his realistic London and Venice scenes and his plein air style. Logsdail attended the Lincoln School of Art, where he initially showed an aptitude for architecture, but with the encouragement of his art master, Edward R. Taylor, (who was also Head of the School) he took to painting. While there, he won the Gold Medal for his work in competition with students at other English art schools. He went on to study in Antwerp, at the École des Beaux-Arts, under Michel Marie Charles Verlat. While there, he became the first Englishman to win first prize at the School. One of his works from this period, The Fish Market (1880), was bought on behalf of Queen Victoria for Osborne House., When told of this, Logsdail supposedly commented, 'Shows her Majesty's good sense'.
(Wikipedia)

Venetian Scene, Canal
From bbc.co.uk


The Ponte dei Pugni, Venice
From artrenewal.org


In the autumn of 1880, Logsdail visited Venice where he was to remain, with occasional visits to England, the Balkans, Egypt and the Middle East, until 1900. During this early period in his career, he gravitated towards architectural and subject paintings. His The Piazza of St. Mark's, Venice, painted in 1883, was judged by the Royal Academy to be the 'picture of the year' when it was exhibited in London although he appears to have been dissatisfied by it, and seriously considered cutting the painting up during its composition.
(Wikipedia)

The Bank and the Royal Exchange
From richard-green.com


The Bank and the Royal Exchange (detail)
From goldenagepaintings.blogspot.com


Logsdail’s view of The Bank of England and the Royal Exchange is taken from the vantagepoint of the Mansion House. The artist obtained special permission to set up his easel between the columns of the Mansion House façade. This viewpoint was raised and thus the painting allows a glimpse both of the passengers seated atop an omnibus as well as an aerial view of passing carts and carriages. The omnibus, which enters the frame at the far right-hand edge of the painting, is of particular interest. Logsdail delighted in including portraits of his family, friends and contemporaries in his fabulously detailed city scenes and The Bank and Royal Exchange was no exception. Logsdail commissioned a local carpenter to construct an exact scale model of the top of an omnibus in the artist’s studio in Primrose Hill. He then convinced a group of friends and relatives who lived on Primrose Hill to pose for this elegant and engaging group. In a letter of 13th May 1917 to Sir Alfred Newton, who had purchased the painting, Logsdail drew a diagram identifying each of these figures by name and profession, noting that many of these merry friends had died by 1917. The figure carrying a tennis racket and dressed in a striped jacket and cap of radiant turquoise blue at the pinnacle of the group was Tom Lloyd, the watercolourist; the head of a man with a beard and a bowler hat immediately to the left of this figure is a portrait of William Logsdail painted by his friend, the artist J W Waterhouse. The man with glasses and sideburns, reading a newspaper, is Wolf, the distinguished animal painter. The man without a hat and with the exposed white shirtfront is Lance Calkin, the portraitist. The ginger-bearded man in a top hat to the left of Logsdail’s head is the war correspondent Fred Villiers. The five figures in the front driving seat are, from left to right: the late Pre-Raphaelite painter who was Logsdail’s closest friend, J W Waterhouse, who leans forward, his fists on his thighs, wearing a brown suit and a blue tie and handkerchief. His wife, dressed in pink, is seated next to him; the driver is the ruddy-cheeked landscape painter P M Feeney. The driver is speaking to a woman in white and peach gown with a parasol who is Waterhouse’s step-sister Mrs Somerville. The lady in blue who gazes off pensively is Mrs P M Feeney, wife of the landscape painter and Waterhouse’s sister-in-law. The painting was well placed at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1887. The many favourable press notices included one review which particularly admired the charming group atop the omnibus: ‘the jovial driver and his party of gaily dressed shop girls.’ This work is one of the finest examples of the five London street scenes which William Logsdail painted in the 1880s, all of which were exhibited at the Royal Academy.
The theme of the bustling life of the capital was a source of fascination for Logsdail, as he explained in his memoirs: ‘I had always thought that London of all places in the world, ought to be painted, but it appeared too formidable, too unassailable…I do not wonder that so few have even dared to touch it. However, I did take courage to try and leave a few records of it, only after a very few years to acknowledge myself beaten.’ This view of the financial hub of the British Empire was particularly important to the artist, who described it in later life as being of: ‘real value…in the years to come that may increase as at least an historical record of exactly how the scene looked in 1888 (or 7?).’
(richard-green.com)

St Martin’s in the fields
From goldenagepaintings.blogspot.com


The Procession of Sir James Whitehead Lord Mayor
The Ninth of November, 1888
From lordmayorsshow.org


The Bank of England
From bbc.co.uk


Near Menton, Southern France
From ta-which.dreamwidth.org


He also painted some sixty-nine small paintings for the Fine Art Society on the subject of the French and Italian Riviera. Seven of these were sold to the Duke of Westminster. In 1893, Logsdail was awarded a medal for oil painting at the World's Columbian Exposition (also known as the Chicago World's Fair).
(Wikipedia)

Lady in Red Dress
From goldenagepaintings.blogspot.com


After spending two years in Taormina and Sicily, he and his family returned to England, settling in West Kensington, London, where his The Early Victorian (1906) (a costume portrait of his daughter Mary) was well received. This marked the beginning of a period of portrait painting for Logsdail, who was offered so many commissions that he was able to pick and choose his sitter at will. (Wikipedia)
The great success of Logsdail's portrait of his daughter Mary, entitled An Early Victorian (Usher Gallery, Lincoln) which was voted 'Picture of the Year' at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1907 led to an influx of portrait commissions. Whilst Logsdail's earlier portrait commissions tended to be small in scale and of family and friends, his later portraits were more flamboyant and elegant. He took to painting portraits with enthusiasm and unlike other artists who disliked having to paint portraits Logsdail was happy to accept commissions. He wrote '... no more rising at dawn, no more searching for models and paying them for their services, no more out in the open at the mercy of all weathers with all the difficulties of complicated subjects, no more doubt as to the sale of my work when done. Instead of all this, while I remained quietly in my comfortable studio my models sought me one after another at the reasonable hour of 10 or 11 and actually paid me hundreds of pounds to paint their valuable selves.'
(goldenagepaintings.blogspot.com)
Logsdail married Mary Ashman in 1892 and they spent their early married life in Venice. Logsdail worked prolifically in Venice where he painted many topographical and architectural scenes. He was also commissioned by the Fine Art Society to paint a series of small pictures of the French and Italian Riviera, seven of which were bought by the Duke of Westminster. He returned to England in 1902 and the success of his portrait of his daughter entitled An early Victorian exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1907, led to many portrait commissions. Amongst his most important sitters were the Viscount Halifax, the R. Hon. Sir Edward Grey, Bt., and Lord Curzon.
(richard-green.com)

Still Life of Flowers in a Green Vase
From bbc.co.uk


In 1912, he was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. As his career progressed, he turned to flower studies. In 1922, he and his family moved to Noke, near Islip, Oxfordshire, where Logsdail would remain until his death at age 85.
(Wikipedia)



No comments: