Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Order, pattern, & William Morris 1834-1896


The most famous 19C English pattern & craft devotee was William Morris (1834-1896), who believed that art & society are inextricably linked.

1876 Pimpernel

Art for Morris meant not only the fine arts of painting & sculpture but "that great body of art by means of which men have at all times ... striven to beautify the familiar matter of everyday life."

1885 Fritillary

He believed that such art arose from a basic human instinct to create, & was "a joy to the maker & user alike" which satisfied personal creative talent & enriched society as a whole.

1873 Acanthus Wallpaper

But the traditions upon which such art rested - the skills of the artist-craftsman, which Morris saw exemplified in medieval workshop practice & the guild system - had been eroded.

1874 Larkspur Wallpaper, polychrome version

Since the Renaissance, the concept of the artist as a unique & special genius had led to a diminution in status of the craftsman & an inevitable division between the fine & decorative arts.

1881 St. James

This distinction had a particularly adverse effect on applied art, especially during the 18th-century, when the rise of an affluent middle class led to an increased demand for furniture & furnishings. In 1861, William Morris founded the decorative arts firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co to undertake carving, stained glass, metal-work, paper-hangings, chintzes (printed fabrics), & carpets.

1876 Chrysanthemum Wallpaper

Morris revived old crafts & traditions, often immersing himself in historical texts or seeking out craftsmen from whom he could learn dying arts. The company's offerings soon extended to include, besides painted windows and mural decoration; furniture; metal & glass wares; cloth & paper wall-hangings; embroideries; jewelery; woven & knotted carpets; silk damasks; & tapestries.

English painter John Everett Millais 1829-1896 & my granddaughters...


John Everett Millais (English painter, 1829-1896) Raking Leaves 1856

This painting so reminds me of our 5 grandaughters who love to rake leaves up here in the woods in the fall. They gather the noisy leaves into enormous piles and then run and jump into them, scattering them back across the ground.


American Artist Ralph Earl 1751-1801



1774 Attributed to Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Mrs Adam Babcock

Ralph Earl was born on a prosperous farm in Massachusettes on May 11, 1751. Ralph was named after His Father, as a large landowner who was active in community affairs & amp; an officer in the local militia.

1785 Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Martha Spear (Mrs. John Johnston)

Ralph & amp; His brother James (1761-1796), who was 10 years younger, both Became artists, as did His son Ralph EW Earl (c 1785-8 - 1838).

1787 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mrs. James Duane.

Ralph Earl was traveling as an itinerant artist in 1774, When He returned home to marry His 2nd cousin Sarah Gates, with whom-he eventually produced three children.

1787 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mrs. Alexander Hamilton.

Earl went back on the road soon after the wedding ceremony; and h & amp; His wife lived apart much of the time, as he Traveled from town to town painting. She delivered Their first child at the home of her parents a few months after Their marriage.

1789 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Clarissa Seymour (Mrs. Truman Marsh).

While trying to Establish himself in New Haven, he met painter Henry Pelham, the half brother of John Singleton Copley. When visiting Pelham in Boston in March 1775, the Earl Admired works Copley had left behind When he moved to England.

1789 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Esther Boardman.

Years later in the Hampshire Gazette , Northampton, Massachusettes, March 5, 1800, Earl That would claim he had "received the last and finishing strokes of His art from the hands of the immortal Reynolds, West and Copley." As of now, no That he found evidence Has Been Studied under either Joshua Reynolds or John Singleton Copley.

1789 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mariann Wolcott.

As the war neared, Earl refused to serve in the local militia & amp; narrowly escaped prison for Refusing to pay taxes to support the American Revolution.

1790 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Sarah Tucker.

Earl's wife joined him in New Haven in November 1776, and they lived there until May, 1777. This six month period, Sarah attested after Earl's death, "was all the time we kept house together."

1790 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mary Smith Booth.

In April, 1777, Earl & amp; several others were accused in the Connecticut Journal as being "friends of George the third and would not take up arms against him or His troops." Their behavior was called a "glaring instance of treason."

1790 Ralph Earl (1791-1801). Jerusha Benedict (Ives).

Earl escaped to England disguised as a servant of Inglese quartermaster general, John Money. His wife Sarah stayed behind With Their three children & amp; Began living with her parents again.

1794 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Huldah Bradley.

From 1778 to 1785, Earl painted Inglese Throughout the provinces, Studied with Pennsylvania expatriate artist Benjamin West, and Exhibited at the Royal Academy, Although he never Became a member.

1796 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Apphia Ruggles (Mrs. Jared Lane).

He wrote to Englishman Dr. Joseph Trumbull, Worcester County apothecary Whose portrait he had painted, "... the picture I have Which Began and finished scince You was heir eaver That is the best I painted, I intend to offer it to Copely to Coppey For His improvement. " Like John Singleton Copley, Ralph Earl did not lack in the ego or the clever knack for self-promotion.

1798 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mary Schenck (Mrs. Elijah Dewey).

After the dust of war settled, Earl returned to Boston in 1785, with a new Inglese wife, Anne Whiteside (1762 to 1826), who would bear him a son and a daughter Within the next 3 years. His arrival in Boston was Announced in Both the Salem Massachusettes Gazette on May 24, 1785, and in Thomas's Massachusetts Spy, Or, the Worcester Gazette on May 26, 1785. This may have surprised His American wife Sarah, the mother of His First 3 children, from whom-he was not divorced.

1793 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mrs. Abraham Beach

For the next 6 months Ralph Earl Traveled With His new wife to New York by way of Providence and New London, where he tarried to paint a few portraits.

1794 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Lucy Bradley.

When he arrived in New York in October, he advertised in the Independent Journal or The General Advertiser , New York, November 2, 1785 That he intended to paint for clients "in this City, where a specimen of His abilities may be seen on calling at Mr. Rivington's, No. 1, Queen Street. "

1794 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mrs. Charles Jeffery Smith.

Within the year, Earl Became Involved in several lawsuits That sent him to debtors' lockups in the New York City Jail from September, 1786 to January, 1788, where he was ENCOURAGED to continue painting. During this period His wife and small children had to fend for Themselves, while Earl painted portraits of several notable New Yorkers including Mrs. Alexander Hamilton. His portrait commissions were held in a trust until His release.

When he was freed, Ralph Earl continued painting portraits of patrons in New York as well as Fairfield, Greenfield Hill, Hartford, Litchfield, Middletown, New Milford, Norwich, & amp; Stamford, Connecticut. His subjects he painted in familiar local landscapes or surrounded by possessions and warez That were part of Their everday lives. Like Copley, he could concoct fashionable costumes for the status-conscious gentry and comfortably portray the blackberries conservative styles of His rural clients.

1798 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Elizabeth Eliot (Mrs. Gershom Burr).

His paintings Became well known. The Litchfield Weekly Monitor of June 21, 1790, the carried to notice (Which Earl may have written and paid for) reprinted in the Columbian Centinel in Boston on June 30, 1790.

Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Mrs. Ebenezer Porter (Lucy Patty Pierce Merwin)

To the Patrons of the Fine Arts

The Portrait Paintings by Mr. RALPH EARL, in this town, do him honor as an American, and as an artist of great taste and ingenuity-Connoisseurs in this truly noble and refined art, several pronounce His performances of the most masterly in every Exhibited the United States. Mr. Earl was Celebrated pupil to the West; and acquired great reputation in London by His Pencil; -and possessing a lively imagination, and pure talent in the principles of His profession, we can not doubt, and hope, That in this age of refinement, the "well-born and well-bred "of His countrymen will patronize him in the Road to Fame.

After His stint in debtor's prison, Ralph Earl spent three years painting commissions in New York City and 13 years working Throughout Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The surviving account books of His client Jared Lane of New Milford, That indicated at least some patrons paid for Earl's supplies, room, and board, as well as for the portraits themselves.

Unlike earlier 18th century colonial painters, Earl was receiving commissions to paint portraits Both & amp; landscapes in The New Republic. People might chose to have Their portraits painted at some milestones in Their Lives such as a marriage or the birth of a child. Others clients might chose to have a painting of Their new house in town or in September in a broad landscape perspective or of Their shop or of the gardens surrounding Their home.

In 1800, accounts of Earl's goal to paint a nearly 30 'long landscape view of Niagara Falls with Hezekiah Hutchens, an amateur artist, and Jacob Wicker, an ornamental painter, Appeared in newspapers in Northampton, Worcester, Litchfield, Baltimore, and far away Charleston, South Carolina. They accomplished the physically challenging adventure, and the huge landscape painting generated publicity for Earl.


1784 Ralph Earl 1751-1801 Anne Whiteside the 2nd Wife of the Artist.

In 1798, Earl either 2nd or His wife Anne DECIDED stop moving the family from town to town in search of painting prospects. She and Their daughter settled permanently in Troy, New York, as he continued to travel Throughout New England painting. Ralph EW Earl's son stayed with His Father to learn the art.

But soon after, at age 50, Ralph Earl died in Bolton, Connecticut, on August 16, 1801. In a diary Which still exists at the Connecticul Historical Society, a local minister The Reverend Mr. George Colton recorded the cause of death as Earl's "intemperance."


A Few Older Women by American Ralph Earl 1751-1801



1790 Ralph Earl (American painter, 1751-1801) Mrs. Nathaniel Taylor


1791 Ralph Earl (American painter, 1751-1801) Mrs. John Watson


1792 Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Mrs. Richard Alsop


1792 Ralph Earl (American painter, 1751-1801) Mrs. Joseph Wright


1793 Ralph Earl (American painter, 1751-1801) Mrs Guy Richards of New London, Connecticut


1795 Ralph Earl (American painter, 1751-1801). Sarah Perry (Mrs. David Hubbell)


1796 Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Mrs. Sherman Boardman (Sarah Bostwick)