Sunday, September 22, 2013

A BIT OF ENGLISH SENTIMENT


As Summer makes a break for it, attempting to overthrow Spring in all her prettiness,
I have been enjoying "Summer in February".
 Having heard of it in a recent post on Rosemary's blog, Where Five Valleys Meet I found it at our local library...


Set among the Edwardian era artistic community the Newlyn School in Cornwall, it is the tragic but true love story of a beautiful young artist, Florence, who had the misfortune to marry the wrong man, and another man who truly loved her. 

A film version of 'Summer in February' has been released in England, and I hope it arrives at a theatre near me some time soon....

Fletcher, Blandford, 'Evicted' 1887
The very first painting acquired by the new Qld Art Gallery in 1896, and to this day one of its most popular works: 'Evicted' by Blandford Fletcher, an artist who was also associated with the Newlyn School.
Fletcher travelled regularly to France where he came in contact with the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage, whose romanticised rural scenes had a strong influence on Fletcher.  He adapted this style to a British context.

Considered a fine example of Victorian social realism, 'Evicted' depicts a widow and her young daughter being forced from their home.
The painting has sentimental appeal, and relies on an emotional response in the viewer.  It is an overcast Autumn day, as shown  in the scattered brown leaves, and dull colours.  This heightens the sense of loss and sadness.  The sympathetic townsfolk look on but do not intervene.  Central to the painting is the child, whose innocent but injured eyes stare straight out to the viewer.  Behind her is a broken toy, which adds to the pathos.  By their door stands the bailiff in his top-hat, having done his duty and achieved the required result.
One of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution was the increase in poverty and hardship faced by families, and Fletcher and other Victorian artists attempted to represent and bring attention to the plight of the social underclasses.

The painting is quite large, 123 cm x 185 cm, and the figures almost life-size.
This adds to the realism, and involvement of the viewer.

'Evicted' was exhibited at the Royal Academy, where it was much admired by British Prime Minister Gladstone.
It is nearly always on display at QAG, Brisbane, and when it is taken down for any length of time,  enquiries are made as to its whereabouts.

And speaking of the gallery, the exhibition of Quilts from the V&A finished today, after a hugely successful run.  I have never seen so many women of a certain age in the gallery all at once, and all having the best time.




I have been studying toy catalogues:



because a certain Little Bebe is turning one pretty soon...


And who's a clever little boy???

Grandparenthood is wonderful...

Have a great week, wherever you are.

XXXX






25 comments:

  1. Little Bebe is turning One? How can that be...he was born five minutes ago..

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    1. I know, I know - it is tragic how fast they grow! How dare he be climbing and standing up and trying to walk already :)

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  2. I am delighted that you have read the book - you will be better prepared for the contents of the film than I was. You can actually buy the DVD on Amazon, I have just noticed that it will be available from the 14th October 2013.
    Paintings from the Newlyn School are always popular, revealing a time past when life for many was very hard, but they had special touches of romanticism showing idyllic locations, elegant but poor working class women and their children

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    1. P.S intended to say how lovely little bebe is - that is a priceless photo.

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    2. Thank you Rosemary, I'll look at Amazon because I want to see this movie, especially now after reading the book. Newlyn School works certainly appeal, to this day, and Evicted proves the point!
      I think it's a priceless photo too - the cheeky little monkey :)

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  3. That painting is so haunting, Patricia. I cannot help but think on and wonder what happened to those poor souls. Life can be very cruel even now. But that aside, what joy to be looking for toys for a one year old grandchild!

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    1. Hi Val, I suppose you only have to read a bit of Dickins to know the sort of thing that happened to evicted poor widows and children - a sad time indeed.
      I love having a reason to visit the toy department these days - such fun.

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  4. Patricia,
    Your Grandson is so darling. Look at those orange flowers! I heard that orange is the happiest color, and I think this is true. I would loved to have seen that exhibition of quilts. They are so creative to me, as my sister makes quilts also.

    Have a happy Autumn week.

    Love,
    ~Sheri

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    1. Completely smitten Grannie here, Sheri, and Yes he is a little darling. Orange makes me happy and I could not resist this bunch I spotted in our local market. I am sure you would have enjoyed the English Quilts, too.

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  5. I am adding Summer in February to my book and movie lists. That is a truly haunting painting and thank you for sharing a story about it. That grandbaby is precious. I know you'll find the just perfect toy for him!

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    1. I can't wait to see the movie now I've read the book!
      Little man is precious, and I so wish he lived closer than Canada. How is little Katie going?

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    2. Little Katie is fine. We see pictures of her almost daily. Very excited that we are going for a visit again soon!

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  6. Your little grandson is so cute! I will look for that film next time too xxx

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    1. Can only agree Fifi, the little bebe is quite the little cute one!
      We might start a movement to encourage the release of Summer in February in Australia... xxx

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  7. Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll look for it at my library as it sounds like one I would like. The painting is very moving, I would love to see it in person.

    Let us know what you choose for that darling little grandson.

    Darla

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    1. The painting is quite lovely in reality Darla - this photo does not do it justice. I will show and tell the birthday gifts :)

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  8. Sounds like a good read Patricia. I'm on the look out for some good reading matter. I can't believe a whole year has gone by, we too have a first birthday coming up in two weeks our lovely granddaughter Winnie. Have a good week.
    Patricia x

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    1. It was an intriguing book Patricia, and I can't wait to see it as a film. Happy birthday to dear little Winnie - perhaps there'll be a party? xx

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  9. There's another title for my 'must-read' list, Patricia. I enjoyed your exposition of the painting. Sometimes it really helps to have details pointed out that we might otherwise miss.

    As for an approaching first birthday, it can't be a year already!

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    1. Glad you like the Victorian painting, Perpetua; it is always popular. How quickly the babies grow - he demonstrated (on skype) walking while pushing a little wagon today. At 10 months. Little monkey :)

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  10. As I'm about to finish the last book in a huge pile I've been wading through, I may just be tempted to go search this one out as I was wondering what to read next.
    As for time, wear does it go?? xx

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    1. Hi Suzy, There should be a run on Summer in February now... we can publicise the film while we are all seeking out the book :)
      Almost time for a new grandbaby, isn't it...

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  11. I´m focusing on the latter part of your post, as might be guessed for reasons known.
    One year - time flies. Gifts and Xmas presents to be thought about and bought/ made.
    Suddenly I miss Baby M so much..
    Oh and I can so understand you wishing Canada being closer.

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    1. Of course, Mette, it is all about the babies - I'm sure you like his photo too, quite a study in little plump legs, isn't it.. I'm sure Baby m, little cutie, is also 'good enough to eat!'

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