Wednesday, June 24, 2015

204. The Art of Sir William Rothenstein

The William Rothenstein exhibition at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford will be on show for another fourteen days. It opened on 7 March and will close on 12 July.

Exhibition catalogue The Art of Sir William Rothenstein
William Rothenstein (1872-1945) is perhaps best remembered for his highly entertaining memoirs (Men and Memories) and his lithograph portraits of artist friends and famous contemporaries, whereas his paintings of interiors, Jewish life, French and English country landscapes, and heavily bombed landscapes of war are not often seen.

Rothenstein shares with Ricketts the fate of a man with many identities, making him difficult to grasp, and unfit for comfortable exhibition stories.

William Rothenstein, English Portraits (1898)
Rothenstein's recollections of Ricketts and Shannon are full of detail and wonderful insights. The Bradford exhibition catalogue contains one portrait of Ricketts and Shannon that was published in English Portraits. A Series of Lithographed Portraits. The portraits were issued in parts in 1897 and 1898, and then collected in a book. Part IX, issued in January 1898, included the portrait of Ricketts and Shannon.

William Rothenstein, 'Mr. C. Ricketts and Mr. C.H. Shannon', English Portraits (1898)
Ricketts holds a wood-block, while Shannon looks on, and probably expects Ricketts to start talking again in a minute.