1 Jul 2018

Wellington and Blucher

The love of print still going strong...
The most recent acquisition is this impressive in its size steel engraving by Lumb Stocks, RA.


it follows the wall mural at the Westminster by Daniel Maclise, RA representing - what else the Brits kicking French ass (sorry....) at Waterloo. Or rather, the battle's aftermath.
It is heavily imbued with the winners vs losers iconography: Wellington in the highlight and Bluthe in the shadows, the British solders in Roman helmets with plumage, the horse making its way in the knee-high carnage. Ohhhh, the Brits with solemn yet "just" faces, the French in their shacos are sad and lost.
The prints edition from 1876.
Original frame in serious need of repair, but recoverable.
I have replaced all brutally simple acidic backing with the ph balanced board and will insert clear acrylic instead of old seriously green glass.


The description from Doe & Hope Auction site
 These line engravings were published by The Art Union in 1876 after the 1868 original wall painting by Daniel Maclise in the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster. Wellington and Blucher mounted on horses, with cavalry behind them, shake hands in front of ruined building surrounded by numerous mounted and dismounted soldiers and bandsman; dead and wounded lying in the foreground. The French army is seen in pursuit along the road behind. A somewhat fanciful rendering of one of the great melodramatic moments in history.

Late in the evening on the day of the battle of Waterloo (Sunday, June 18th. 1815) Wellington and Blücher met on horseback outside the somewhat battered but aptly named La Belle Alliance inn where they briefly shook hands and congratulated each other on their victory. "Quelle affaire!" the elderly Prussian Marshal exclaimed, - Wellington said afterwards that was all the French he knew. Blücher also suggested La Belle Alliance would be a good name for the battle, but the Duke made no reply.
Following the meeting of the victorious leaders, during the rest of the night the Prussians pursued the remnants of the routed French army, from the inn, down the road toward France by which they had come.

Daniel Maclise, R.A. (1806 -1870) was an Irish historical painter whose fame rests chiefly on a series of lithograph portraits of contemporary celebrities and on two vast frescoes that he painted in the Royal Gallery in the House of Lords, of which this is a copy of one.

Scale, originality, texture, grandeur; these really must be seen - stunning.

21 May 2018

Madonna on a Crescent Moon

This is a small XVIII century or perhaps earlier figure of Madonna with Child.
Beautifully polychromed and visibly worn.
Carved in a most darling manner - the wide coat, the style of the hand, the crescent moon, all so lovely.



The expression is that of an old aunt saying:
Didn't I tell'ya, Just keep on loving and everything's gonna be alright...














“Detail of a miniature of God creating the sun and moon.”, Bible historiale, f. 5v by Guyart des Moulins and art by “The Master of the Bedford Hours, and the Master of the Cite des Dames according to Meiss,…”, Paris, France c. 1420 via The British Library, Public Domain

17 Mar 2018

Old Paris

This book, a small album of panoramic photos from the 20-ies and earlier, bought early this spring.



Marvelous find. The enlarged images on rough heavy paper are simply spectacular feast for the eye.
The shot of the Opera is particularly splendid as it shows an authentic and lively human interaction of that day. On the right side there is a group of two women and a man seen from behind.
The fashion of the period dictated light loose jacket, gloves and a hat.
For a man - obligatory Panama hat, after all it is no longer winter!
The women remind me the way my grandma and her friend Nellie (we thought it is aunt Tralalla at first...)


27 Jan 2018

Early Collodion Prints

I have seen such photographs before, but never up-close.
This is the recent acquisition, from a young antiquarian and a collector of old photographs.
Most of his collection comes from Fredericton, New Brunswick - on the Atlantic side of Canada.
Some of the smaller photos I had purchased bear the embossed mark of Harvey, 164 Queen Street, F'ton N.B. The studio still exists, but doesn't bear any traces of its past...

Other photo, portrait of some Mr. Johnson and another man comes from a studio of Norman B. Henry in Clint, Ontario. I cannot locate any traces of the photographer, but there lives Johnson family.
Another yet from Belleville - Brock & Co.
My new anonymous great-great-grandfathers.

Beautiful golden tones and surprisingly neutral-to-friendly facial expressions!

26 Dec 2017

Venice at Christmas

Snowy and cold holidays in Ottawa.
The weather forecast is hopeful: cold and sunny, with a chance for happiness.

Venice is destination I once avoided, I did not get off the train when I could have.
It was November 1st, 36 years ago, there was a massive whiff of cold, damp fog and very uncertain weather that hit my face. I decided not to get off, I pressed on and went to Rome.
Venice remains this place I do not go to see, sheltering it from disappointment.

I almost prefer to hold to the imaginary Venice: 
a slice of Josip Brodsky against the Canaletto background...

Like this Venetian teapot and a cup - the melancholic object can be rearranged, moved around, serve many occasions.


Oh, and don't get fooled by the fat crest with two lions back-stamp: this is not England my dear, it is pure China designed in Italy. Lovely nevertheless.
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