Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This still from Paul Wegener's 1920 silent movie Der Golem is posted today not because it is Halloween. The reason is because I'm going on holiday tomorrow to the city where the legend of Rabbi Loew's Golem originates: Prague. Looking forward to seeing a bit of Eastern Europe and also the miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When I was at Art School Kenneth Rowntree was the Professor of Painting. He was a bluff and jolly old bloke with trade mark round horn-rims and pipe, but what few sightings I had of his art made me sneer at what I thought was very provincial, middle-class and irrrelevant art.

Needless to say I've now changed my opinion and it's with some shame that I only recently learned Rowntree died in 1997. I also discovered an Edward Bawden connection. From 1941 to 1947 Kenneth Rowntree lived in Great Bardfield near Saffron Walden, Essex. This was very near to Bawden's home and he became part of the Bawden's circle of artist friends. During this time Rowntree was employed on the Recording Britain Project - a scheme devised to make a pictorial record of Britain before the anticipated destruction of World War 2.

The first of these three Kenneth Rowntree paintings comes from this wartime period and is titled View Through A Window (1944.) The next two are both from 1953 and are titled Last Minute Decorations and Country Celebrations.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My giddy aunt! Here is another beautiful Edward Bawden drawing sent to me today by Marc Baines. I doff my trilby to you, Marc...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Post War British art, I just can't get enough of it. Here's another illustration by the wonderful Edward Bawden from a 1949 book: Flower of Cities - A Book of London. This is co-incidentally another collaboration by Bawden and John Betjeman, illustrating Betjeman's words about the long demolished neo-classical Euston Arch.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Simone Weil (1909-1943) is one of the most original writers on religion I've ever come across and her life was fiercely idealistic. I couldn't help myself from making light of her Gallic intensity in the above strip but if you want the full story I suggest you investigate her writings.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

As promised back in the height of Summer here are some more splendid items of pious Catholic imagery from mid 20th Century.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Reports say there has been a drastic drop in candidates for the priesthood and monastic life. On this first Sunday in October perhaps this strip of mine might help concerned parents discern tell-tale signs of a religious calling in their own children...