A Century of Art [by Charles Ricketts]
|William Holman Hunt, 'Claudio and Isabella' (painting, 1850) [detail]|
[Tate Gallery London]
|William Holman Hunt, 'Claudio and Isabella' (drawing, c. 1850)|
[National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest 1907]
Despite the countless designs done for illustrations, Millais' Pre-Raphaelite drawings are rare. One of the best is fortunately here. It has the further interest of bearing upon one of his most remarkable works, namely "The Carpenter's Shop." No. 225 has the merit of belonging to this charmed epoch; it is, however, of a more occasional character. I do not think this design was ever carried out in more definitive form.
|John Everett Millais, study for 'Christ in the House of His Parents' (c.1849)|
[Tate Gallery, London]
It would be difficult to find grouped together a more notable set of Rossetti's early pen-drawings outside Birmingham, and perhaps the Print Room of the British Museum. The portrait of Miss Siddal (Mrs. Rossetti) (No. 227) has few equals among the many exquisite drawings Rossetti did of her. For dramatic intensity Nos. 230 and 231 are hard to match. No. 229 was done in preparation for the "Beatrice and Dante" panels painted for W. Morris. Remains the famous pen-drawing of "Magdalene at the Door of Simon the Pharisee" (No. 228), for which the artist wrote the sonnet beginning
Why wilt thou cast the roses from thine hair?
Nay, be thou all a rose—wreath, lips, and cheek.
|Dante Gabriel Rossetti,|
'Mary Magdalene at the Door of Simon the Pharisee' (1858)
[Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge]
Burne-Jones sat for the Head of Christ; the head of Swinburne is recalled in the principal reveller, and a fine study made for this figure, probably in view of a larger work, hangs next to it (No. 226). For years this famous pen-drawing had vanished, and was supposed lost. It has therefore never before been publicly exhibited. It was found some twelve years ago by the present owners in a furniture shop in the Brompton Road, and secured by them a few minutes after it had been taken there.*
|Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal,|
"The Quest of the Grail" (c. 1855)
|Edward Burne-Jones, sketch of two seated figures|
for [?] "The Backgammon Players" (c. 1861)
[Tate Gallery, London]
Quoted from Charles Ricketts, A Century of Art 1810-1910. London, Carfax & Co., 1911, pp. 32-34. The catalogue does not contain a list of exhibited paintings, drawings and prints, nor does it contain illustrations. A separate list of the pictures was published by the Society: A Catalogue of the Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture at the Century of Art Exhibition of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers held at the Grafton Galleries, June and July, 1911. [A copy is in the National Art Library, V&A Museum, London: Historic Catalogues 200.B.208].
* This drawing was discovered by Ricketts and Shannon around 1898, and bequeathed to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.