Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Martin is a remarkable chronicler of art and churches in Oxfordshire. I am linking here to his pictures taken in the Ashmolean. http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfordshire_church_photos/sets/72157605680129123/with/1123191903/ I think his take on Jerusalem is interesting as is his poem from Lear How pleasant to know Mr. Lear, Who has written such volumes of stuff. Some think him ill-tempered and queer, But a few find him pleasant enough. His mind is concrete and fastidious, His nose is remarkably big; His visage is more or less hideous, His beard it resembles a wig. He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers, (Leastways if you reckon two thumbs); He used to be one of the singers, But now he is one of the dumbs. He sits in a beautiful parlour, With hundreds of books on the wall; He drinks a great deal of marsala, But never gets tipsy at all. He has many friends, laymen and clerical, Old Foss is the name of his cat; His body is perfectly spherical, He weareth a runcible hat. When he walks in waterproof white, The children run after him so! Calling out, "He's gone out in his night- Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!" He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate shrimps from the mill. He reads, but he does not speak, Spanish, He cannot abide ginger beer; Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish, How pleasant to know Mr. Lear! Edward Lear Edward Lear, Jerusalem (Ashmolean Musem Oxford) Lear (1812-88) is probably best known as an author of Nonsense rhymes, however he was also an accomplished ornithologist and an artist of considerable skill. He painted largely romantic far away places in the Middle East and Asia. His early works were in wash and body colour but he took up oil painting in 1838. Lear began his work out of doors but finished these works in the studio. during the last forty years of his life he was friendly with Holman Hunt and the Pre Raphaelite painters and possibly some of the richness of Lear's later landscape owes much to Hun't encouragement and instruction. He accompanied Hunt on a few of his painting trips and Hunt became a kind of mentor to the older man. Seddon another Pre Raphaelite painted near here at the same time. Whilst Lear's landscapes are very strong his figures show he did not have the passion for observation that is displayed in Hunt's or other Pre Raphaelite work and are more akin to the work of David Robert's landscapes of an earlier school.