Monday, 12 March 2012

Alphege-Brewer goes to Lake Como.

The sun is bright and there is spring in the air - what better time for a short break in Italy.

Today I am off to Lake Como with James Alphege Brewer ( born c1882) - he was a painter and printmaker and the son of the artist Henry William Brewer. He exhibited widely between 1909 and 1938, including at; Royal Academy 1, Royal Cambrian Academy 33 and Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour 17. The majority of picture that I have seen by him have been the once very fashionable but now so unfashionable, black line etchings. He did create some colourful colour woodcuts, usually expansive landscapes, like this example.

This is titled "The Garden of the Villa Carlotta"

The 16th century Villa Carlotta is Lake Como most famous villa and it's gardens have an international reputation, with it's three distinct styles of planting, the Eighteenth Century Italian garden overlooking the lakeside; the mid-Nineteenth Century English garden and the Nineteenth century botanical garden. It was a frequent stopping point on the Grand Tour and it is easy to see why it attracted artists; extensive views to mountains, together with colour and textures of the trees and flowers - inspiring !!

I wonder where else this artist travelled ?

and now to -- Lake Lugano - above as James captured it and as it is today, below.

He also created some coloured etchings in Italy.
Lake Lugano and Sorrento
see -

Full biographical details for this artist are difficult to track down. Fortunantly some work has been posted about census returns for his family - see Link . As I knew his father was Henry W Brewer, artist painter and draughtsman. As typical in Victorian England his family was large, at the time of the 1881 census he had 10 children ! and James wasn't born yet. James does appear on the 1901 census aged 19 and listed as an art student. His brothers, Henry C and Edward were also painters.

I'm sure there is more to find in later census - if you are keen !!
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